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Robert W. Woodruff 


Special Collections & Archives 





Prof. H. T JOHNSON, 

Late President of West Tennessee University. 




Copyright, 1890, 
By H. T. Johnson. 

Press of the Christian Witness, Boston, mass. 



Hon. Orlando B. Potter • Rt. Revs. Daniel A. Payne, 

John M. Brown, Henry M. Turner, Benjamin 

T. Tanner ; Profs. \V S. Scarborough, 

T. McCauts Stewart, J. C. Price, 

and others among the living; 

Bishops Wm. F. Dickerson, Richard H. Cain; Prof. 

Lorenzo Westcott Howard ; Dr. E. R. Bower 

Lincoln ; Dean J. T. Latimer, S.T.D., 

Boston University, among 

the departed ; 



Marked and diversified are the revelations 
of the Godhead, both in degree and intensity, 
whether considered from prophetic, gospel, 
or epistolary points of view. While they all 
happily converge in the same celestial focus, 
and reflect the same rays of the divine na- 
ture and plans earthward, these rays are 
striking, splendrous, and sublime in propor- 
tion as seer, evangelist, and teacher are illu- 
minated by the torch of inspiration or are 
elevated toward the heavenly Ideal. That 
ideal is Christ, the Divine Logos. In refer- 
ence to finite visions of Him, it cannot be 
affirmed that "distance lends enchantment 
to the view," for He only appears as "the 
fairest among ten thousand and the altogether 
lovely " to those alone who, beholding Him 
from the Mount of Love, confidently relate 
the things they both see and hear. It must 
follow, therefore, that the best and highest 


possible revelation of God is that given by 
the Son of God. And again, it must as cer- 
tainly follow that the most complete and per- 
fect revelations of Christ are those, the result 
of the most intimate intercourse and fellow- 
ship with Him. 

While it is true that " the heavens declare 
the glory of God," equally true is it that 
" one star differeth from another in glory." 
The most casual observer who scans never so 
hurriedly the great volume of celestial nature, 
cannot but be strikingly impressed with the 
stupendous exhibition of variety amidst the 
harmony which he finds there. When the 
psalmist considered the heavens, the diver- 
sity of their revelation of combined wisdom 
and power, and the reflection of creature im- 
age in this looking-glass of nature, it so be- 
wildered him that he stood speechless in the 
presence of a self-instituted investigation. 

So, too, with the contemplator of the Word 
of God. In exploring the realms of sacred 
truth, in reflecting the glories of Deity, in 
revealing the wealth of Christologic nature 
and operations, in poring over the mysteries 
of the eternal world, his is a task from which, 
unaided, he would shrink in bewilderment. 


Yet, though assisted by superhuman re- 
sources, and though elevated to the seventh 
heaven upon wings of inspiration, what still 
remains unseen or undiscoverable to his 
vision is more unspeakable than the things 
which, though experienced, cannot lawfully 
be mentioned. 

Every writer of religious prophecy, of sa- 
cred narrative, of inspired poetry, proverbs, 
and allegories, of scriptural biographies or 
gospel records, are like so many planets in 
the infinite system of divine truth, all trans- 
mitting the glories of their central source 
through their peculiar and varied constitu- 
tions. They all vary in relative bulk, density, 
and distance, but are uniform in reflective 
character, since they all emit their borrowed 
lustres. Once more these human constella- 
tions vary in their intensity of glory or light 
properties, and for this reason, also, in their 
impressiveness upon far-off observers. In 
the great system of revelation, each one has 
his favorite light orb which he admires above 
the rest for the possession of some striking 
and pre-eminent excellence. Of these, none 
is more conspicuous or distinguished in this 
respect than Ezekiel and Isaiah in the Old, 


and John and Paul in the New, Testament. 
The Argus-eyed prophet of the former, whose 
all-rotary vision enabled him to sweep the 
circle of divine mysteries, is somewhat anal- 
ogous to the catholic-minded apostle of the 
latter dispensation. Yet for loftiness and 
definiteness of conceptions concerning the 
person and office of incarnate Deity, Isaiah 
and John present more of analogy than Paul 
or Ezekiel. 

Should we, then, confine our estimate to the 
gospel era, and survey the entire array of 
towering figures therein displayed, we know 
of none who would stand higher or project 
outward in bolder relief than the Evangelist 
John. From the Mount of Love, this eagle- 
eyed seer of the New Testament views our 
Lord, and discloses such revelations of His 
attributes and glories as we seek to find else- 
where in vain. It is because of their cath- 
olicity and uniqueness, their profundity as 
well as loftiness, their ever-increasing expres- 
sions of Christologic wealth ; it is, withal, be- 
cause of their transcendent meritoriousness, 
that we feel justified in venturing these rev- 
elations in the manner attempted. 

While neither completeness nor originality 


is claimed for this humble contribution to 
Christian thought, while the expectation of 
its hearty approval or general endorsement of 
views advanced is not among the offerer's 
slightly cherished feelings in this direction, 
it is nevertheless his hope, for which he con- 
fidently prays, that it may prove serviceable 
to some student of the Sacred Word, and that 
it may inspire a deeper interest in the Great 
Teacher, and tend to the glory of Him who 
is able to make wise unto salvation. 




Chapter I. 
The Ideal Logos i 

Chapter II. 
The Idea Developed n 

Chapter III. 
Pre-existence 19 

Chapter IV. 
Life 29 

Chapter V. 
Incarnation 3S 

Chapter VI. 
Works of the Logos Posited 46 

Chapter VII. 
Light 55 

Chapter VIII. 
Truth 68 


Chapter IX. 
Love 78 

Chapter X. 
Teacher 90 

Chapter XI. 
The Glorified Logos 98 

Chapter XII. 
The Indwelling Logos 112 


The Gospel of John is the greatest book 
ever written. Its subject is a unique Person. 
Its delineation of that Person is a unique de- 
lineation. Jesus Christ, like every human 
being, lived a dual life — outward, related to 
humanity in general : inward, spiritual, re- 
lated to heavenly things, concerned with an 
inner circle of intimate friends. This latter 
sphere is the chief theme of the fourth Gos- 
pel. What sets it apart and above the other 
books is, that it clearly and purposely reveals 
not what Jesus did, but what He was — His 
person, claims, and character. What they ac- 
complish indirectly, this book does directly. 
It paints its portrait from life : they collect 
their materials, and let their subject in His 
real self shine through or be reflected in their 
records of His objective activity. It is the 
same portrait ; there is no discordance. 
The keenest of critical inquiries have failed 


to discover any difference, in the essential 
elements, between the representation of Jesus 
according to the three first Gospels and that 
of the fourth. Still, if in so lofty a range of 
literature there are loftier heights, the Gos- 
pel of John rises far above the others in the 
majesty and mystery of its disclosures of the 
person of Christ. 

There can be no reasonable doubt that the 
fourth Gospel is a trustworthy document. 
The sharp controversy of the last fifty years 
has left us in the position that here is a rec- 
ord which comes from the personal recollec- 
tions of the man whose name it bears. What, 
then, may be said for its contents ? The rec- 
ollections of a disciple, — they are the recollec- 
tions of the disciple, of one who was pecul- 
iarly near the heart and life of Jesus, — he 
seems to have been one who was more than 
ordinarily gifted, mentally and spiritually, and 
his gift of mind and soul more than ordinarily 
developed. He was fitted — if anyone was 
fitted, he above others, — to receive the 
fullest and finest impressions of his Master's 
character. On purely critical grounds alone 
there is reason for maintaining that the 
representation of Jesus Christ given in the 


Gospel of John is the most trustworthy of 

What is the reflection with which these 
marvellous recollections are concluded ? It 
is this: "There are also many other things 
which Jesus did." Like all other attempts to 
picture the person and work of Jesus, this 
book confesses itself to be totally inadequate 
to compass the exceeding beauty and abun- 
dant activity of that Person concerning whose 
words of love and grace, deeds of power, 
intensity of suffering, and radiant glory, 
character, and personality — the unknown and 
unrecorded surpass all that the thought and 
insight of the " beloved disciple " have discov- 
ered and recalled. We do not now inquire 
into the reason of this, though such an in- 
quiry would find itself partially answered in the 
vitality of the method and the spiritual in- 
tensity of Jesus Christ. The fact is one be- 
fore which the student may well stand in 
astonishment, not unmixed with awe. 

It is with profound satisfaction that believ- 
ers in Christianity find the controversies of 
the present day centreing about these records 
of the person and work of its Founder. Is 
the gospel account trustworthy ? Did Jesus 


do and say what is here recorded ? These 
are fundamental, vital questions, and these 
are the living questions presented to the peo- 
ple on every hand. The literary problems 
of these questions may never be grasped or 
solved by any others than specialists. But 
the portrait of Jesus which these contro- 
verted Gospels disclose, can be studied and 
enjoyed by peasant and philosopher alike. 
The portrait of that Person, in all the strength 
and beauty of His character, is the authentica- 
tion of the books in which it stands. No nega- 
tive criticism can succeed in permanently 
overthrowing the historical character of the 
Gospel, because no negative criticism can 
essentially weaken the unique character of 
their representation of Jesus Christ. Con- 
troversies along this line can have but one 
issue. If the Gospels are found wanting, 
the want will not be in historical accuracy, 
but in historical completeness. The monu- 
ment that marks the overthrow of such as- 
saults will bear the words already quoted, 
"There are also many other things which 
Jesus did." — " Old and New Testament Stu- 
dent." By permission of Dr. Wm. R. Harper, 
editor, and professor in Yale University. 



The wealth and force of the term " logos " 
(Aoyof), is revealed so transcendently nowhere 
as in its application to the Son of God. 
As the word " book " (BjtfAof), when applied to 
the volume of revelation, the Holy Scriptures, 
is lifted from its commonplace import, so the 
term "logos," only a word, an ordinary one 
in the original, in its specific and most ex- 
pressive application is fraught with all the 
majesty of celestial speech. And as if 
borrowed from the heavenly glossary, and 
licensed for that peculiar service, it embraces 
the idea of the divine unfolding through the 
medium of revelation. In theological usage 
it signifies the mediation and incarnation of 
deity in the Son of God. The first thought 


involves the idea of Christ as Author of the 
plan of salvation before the world, while the 
second includes the scheme of redemption as 
achieved in the flesh. Generically a word is 
but an expression ; then again, the sign or 
medium by which one person's mind is re- 
vealed to another. Without a communicative 
faculty, man would have little advantage over 
matter. Unless this communication be by 
means of articulate speech, he would be only 
on a level with the brutes that perish. From 
an otherwise solitary and degraded depth he 
has been elevated by the magic influence of 
articulate utterance into the divine dignity 
of creation's monarch, "a little lower than the 

Whenever and in what manner it pleased 
the Father to manifest Himself, the Son was 
chosen the medium of such manifestation. 
This is true of men and angels alike. We 
cannot wing our way sufficiently far into the 
hidden recesses of anterior time to find no 
movement of the divine thought in the Logos. 


Nor can we conceive of any process of 
the divine operation disconnected with the 
agency or personage of the Eternal Logos. 

Whether we emphasize the human or 
divine aspect of the Logos, dazed and 
obscure will be our conceptions, or vague and 
misleading our doctrinal trend, unless supreme 
consideration is given to the predominance 
of the mysterious and inscrutable. 

Whether we contemplate Deity in the 
ineffable light of His sovereign and unre- 
vealed character, or whether we study Jesus 
of Nazareth as God manifest in the flesh, 
ours is a problem as profound as the universe, 
and as baffling to finite intelligence as " the 
things the angels desire to look into." 

Nevertheless, the fact of its inscrutability is 
no formidable barrier in the way of a reverent 
approach to a subject bearing so vital a rela- 
tion to humanity. Is this Logos the " He " 
of whom Moses and the prophets did write ? is 
" He " the Creator and Preserver of all things ? 
is " He " the man Christ Jesus, who came from 


the bosom of the Father ? is " He " the Friend 
of publicans and sinners ? are all questions 
which involve the peace, the well-being, the 
salvation of mankind. But there are also 
questions incidental and correlated to these, 
fraught with the greatest significance to the 
believer, as well as theologian. They do not 
float upon the surface of the vast sea of the 
God-thought or of divine revelation, but 
underlie the substratum of the religious 
feeling, and are interlinked to the mighty 
system of faith in which towers all clear and 
refreshing Christian thought. 

Faith has sometimes been defined as pure 
reason, the highest exercise of judgment in 
the realm of truth. But even when it stands 
on tiptoe it is unable to peer into the 
mysteries of the unrevealed, or fathom the 
deep things of God. However, predications 
of the Unknown Being or state need not be 
relegated to the sphere of speculation or 
consigned to the ranks of agnosticism. 

There is a natural tendency in all finite 


judgment to sceptically estimate that which 
it cannot comprehend. But such folly 
should not be exercised in our efforts to grasp 
the contents of revelation or investigate the 
hidden things of the supersensuous. To con- 
template the things above the reach of mortals 
is as elevating to the intellect as it is gratify- 
ing and refreshing to the spiritual nature of 
man. If we were inclined to accept only 
that which we absolutely know, scant indeed 
would be the store-house of our possessions, 
as respects temporal as well as spiritual 
matters. When knowledge totters, the help- 
ing hand of faith is extended. When sight is 
dimmed in the mighty distance of futurity, 
or is lost in the gaze of eternal problems, we 
must either take the wings of faith and mount 
aloft, or flutter in doubt and fear in reason's 
selfish dungeon. While man may be non- 
plussed when challenged by the query, " Who, 
by searching, can find out God? "yet it is 
wonderfully consoling to the inquiring, long- 
ing soul, to be informed that " the only be- 


gotten Son hath declared him." Not alone 
the things necessary to " make wise unto sal- 
vation," are furnished us, but the things also 
which religiously edify and gratify. 

All this we find in inestimable amplitude 
in Him whose self-revelation sets Him ever 
before the eyes of a needy humanity as the 
Way, the Truth, and the Life. 

Who, then, is God, may be answered by 
the Son of God Himself, as yet also by those 
to whom He has given the most complete 
revelations or self-manifestations. It were 
forever a matter of impossibility for man to 
even faintly apprehend the gracious attri- 
butes of Deity, much less draw near to the 
awful brightness of His personality, had it 
not been for the more subdued rays of a 
glorious revelation, beheld in the face of the 
Divine Logos. 

An incontestable evidence of the dignity, 
yea, divinity, of human nature is its deep 
aspiration after the supernatural. This truth 
ever finds a voluntary expression when man 


is at peace with God and is a reflex of the 
divine mind. 

But even when the divine image is lost, 
when the heart becomes " deceitful and des- 
perately wicked above all things," when men 
are led captive by the devil at his will, there 
is an unconscious yielding to the divine 
impulse, a subjective struggle for mastery 
over the forces of fallen human nature and 
the acquisition of eternal truth and triumph. 
In his primitive state, were Adam asked 
for an expression of his ideal, he would tri- 
umphantly have pointed to the halo of heav- 
enly environment which encircled him. His 
vision, as yet being undimmed by sin, would 
permit him to take in the infinite expression 
with spiritual transparency. He would gaze 
upward, though infinite light bedazed his 
sight. He could still gaze upward, even 
when he fell. 

If we follow him as he gropes his way 
in darkness, we will find his head directed 
heavenward, though his feet lay hold on 


the ways of hell. The avenue of inter- 
course between man and his Maker having 
been closed by transgressions, and the 
penalty of insulted justice having been 
expressed by diluvian retribution, the .dis- 
mayed posterity of Adam again sought pre- 
sumptuous intercourse with Heaven from 
the plains of Shinar. The material monu- 
ment they attempted to rear was no less an 
expression of their conception of the Al- 
mighty and His operations, than anal- 
ogous to the crude yet stubborn constructions 
of humanity unsanctified toward the Infalli- 
ble Ideal. 

The existence of these ideals may be dis- 
covered unconsciously breathing in every line 
of heathen poetry, ancient and modern ; in 
their sculpture or paintings ; in art, science 
philosophy, and religion, wherever existing 
without the pales of the Christian system. 
The Heavenly Standard was unrevealed, but 
in the heart of humanity there was a con- 
sciousness of its existence somewhere and of 
its attainableness somehow. 


The ideal of ethics was met and vigorously 
opposed by the Grecian sophists on the 
ground that they were mere conventions. 
To the gods, as the embodiment of these 
ideals, the religionist would point, and predi- 
cate as a reason for loyalty to the same, that 
"the gods made these distinctions." It was 
not left for the true light from heaven to 
show the fallacy of these ethical claims, but 
the answer is forthcoming and silencing from 
two young disciples of Socrates: "Granting 
that the gods are disposed to enforce some 
moral law, still, does that fact give any time 
distinction between good and evil as such ? 
For whoever urges us to do right merely to 
get the favor of the gods, urges us in reality 
merely to do what is prudent." Such doc- 
trines make justice not desirable in itself, but 
desirable for what it brings in its train. 
Thus there would be no difference between 
good and evil as such : only between what 
brings reward and what brings punishment. 
They finally appeal to Socrates for the best 


exposition of the principles of ethics. The 
shortcomings of the moral ideal was amply 
seen in the answer given. The Platonic ideal 
of justice was alike unsatisfying to the 
earnest seeker after truth ; nor do the teach- 
ings of either Aristotle or the Stoics hit the 
mark of humanity's deeply craved ideal. The 
extension of the empire of reason to its ut- 
most range, or its elevation to the mind's 
loftiest possibility, would alike leave the Logos 
ideal ungrasped. That the various philo- 
sophic movements furnished antecedents or 
afforded involuntary contributions to proper 
conceptions of the transcendent Ideal Logos 
is all that can be admitted. For it is not 
until we contemplate the moral code in the 
teachings of the Son of God and exemplified 
in His life, and these alone, that the deepest 
wants of the soul are met and the highest as- 
pirations of the mind honored. 


" The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of 
prophecy " Akin to this sublime utterance 
is the conclusive verdict of our Lord Himself : 
" Search the scriptures ; for in them ye think 
ye have eternal life : and they are they which 
testify of me." The difference between the 
Word "truth" from Genesis to Malachi, and 
that from Matthew to Revelation, is the differ- 
ence only between evolutionary prophecy and 
Christian doctrine. The Christ of Moses is 
not the Christ of Matthew only as the seed 
is not the flower or the blade is not the full 
corn in the ear. The author of the Penta- 
teuch may be unlike the artists of the New 
Testament in their representations of Christ. 
The one beheld Him afar off, and as revealed 
through the perspective of faith alone, while 


the others contemplated His personality with 
natural eyes in the flesh. The former 
waited long for Him, but died without the 
sight, while these were privileged to thrust 
their fingers in His wound prints, and ac- 
knowledge Him as "the Christ, the Son of 

It is not strange, then, that the synoptic 
biographers should so far transcend the Old 
Dispensation writer in their delineations of 
the office and nature of the Son of Man ; and 
yet the contrast between them is greater in 
degree than in kind. Rather than presenting 
the wide dissimilarity of shadow and sub- 
stance, the contrast suggests the harmony of 
part and whole. Granting that with the writ- 
ings of Moses originated the Messianic idea, 
the question is not how he came by it, nor yet 
why did he not enlarge upon it, but rather, 
what was its scope and how did he apply it ? 
Whether it floated to him down the avenue of 
tradition, or was unfolded to him through the 
doors of his religious consciousness, matters 


little, since upon it he would found the world's 
hope or predicate the faith of ages. The 
germinal thought of his most notable proph- 
ecy, or rather the prediction he was inspired 
to record, was first that the cause of universal 
sin should be eradicated, and also that its in- 
strument of extirpation should be identical 
with that of its occasion. All other ut- 
terances of inspiration, if prophetic or regal, 
if patriarchal or sacerdotal, in complexion, 
must be with an eye single to, and in strict 
conformity with, this underlying, overtopping 

This " seed of the woman " primarily, then, 
referred to the human personality of Christ. 
It would never do to circumscribe the notion 
of the promise to either the divine or human 
Redeemer, as apprehended by Moses, else 
will be attached a sense never intended by the 
great writer. A union of the two natures, 
the humanity clothed with the divinity of 
Christ, is a construction theologically neces- 
sary and actually sustained. The seed was 


to germinate a plant of heavenly origin, yet 
of earthly fruitage. It was to be planted by 
the Divine Hand upon terrestrial soil, while 
its leaves were to be for the healing of the 
nations. Though the most miniature seed in 
all the realm of vegetation, it embodied the 
properties and involved the latitude of the 
most adequate development. The most gi- 
gantic oak or most stately cedar of Lebanon 
was to be compared to this Logos evolution 
and expansion only as pigmies may be com- 
pared with giants or mole-hills bear semblance 
to mountains. Its insignificant nature was 
not to entitle it to contempt, because it would 
yet afford a resting-place for both beast and 
bird ; nor was its majesty or utility limited 
to the farm and forest. Its horticultural 
capacity is most strikingly manifest in its ser- 
vice to the sense of sight and the gratifica- 
tion of taste. Beauty and fragrance so 
abounded in the lily and rose that they were 
universally endorsed by ancient writers as 
symbolic of the excellencies of the rose of 


Sharon and the heavenly lily. Scarcely can 
one observe the trend of Messianic psalms and 
prophecies, or follow the general current of 
scriptural evolution along the line of pre-Chris- 
tian ages, without being struck with the beauty 
and fitness of the tropes applied to Christ in an 
evolutionary sense. According to prophetic 
gauge, as a tender plant He was to grow up. 
Not the stately aspect of the lordly cedar of 
Lebanon is referred to, not the vast propor- 
tions of some mighty tree, that has reached 
its maturity through instantaneous process, 
but the mustard seed. As the tender plant 
He should grow up. 

To an adequate comprehension of the 
Logos thought there were two antecedents. 
The idea was capitalized and amplified by 
John, but its exception and feeble expansion 
might be traced to certain theological and 
philosophical factors. Under the former the 
teachings of Judaism might be summarized, 
while Platonism, with its complex ideal color- 
ings, embraced the latter. Of these two fac- 


tors, prime importance should be attached to 
the theological, since not only in its very 
nature it was constituted to strengthen a 
more tangible form of theistic faith, but it 
also formed an earlier basis for the evolution 
of the Logos conception. Whatever the 
occasion for the proper estimate and employ- 
ment of the term, it was already at hand in 
the Old Testament when the apostle found it 
necessary to use it. The thought points to 
the personification of wisdom and a general 
characterization of the term " Word of God." 
In the books of Ecclesiasticus, Proverbs, 
Sirach, and Wisdom, expressions are fre- 
quently employed which pointedly anticipate 
the nature and functions of the Logos. To 
quote only a few : " By the word of the Lord 
were the heavens made" (Ps. 33: 6). "He 
sent his word, and healed them" (Ps. 107 : 20). 
To the phraseology, " Word of God," the 
Targum more strictly adheres. Personifi- 
cally, the Word of God is introduced under 
the similitude of wisdom. " I was set up 


from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever 
the earth was " (Prov. 8 : 23). " He created 
me from the beginning, before the world, 
and I shall never fail " (Ecclus. 24 : 9). In 
the Wisdom of Solomon this same divine 
manifestation is styled as the " breath of the 
power of God, and a pure influence flowing 
from the Almighty." 

Thus, without greater enlargements upon 
its theological antecedents or further refer- 
ences to its philosophical anticipations, it 
will be readily seen that throughout the various 
periods and phases of Judaism, the idea not 
only prevailed that God's revelation is a 
mediate one, but that also the adequate and 
exhaustive scheme was laid for the full de- 
velopment of the "doctrine of the creative 
function, the enlightening office, and the 
eternal generation of the Logos." 

Yet more than this, since, beside the mis- 
cellaneous expansion of the Logos idea, the 
fulness of time involved an expression of 
the Logos as fact. For had He continued 


to exist in Himself or in the mind of Deity or 
man, the exigencies of the latter's condition 
would never have been met. Without the 
advent of the Eternal Logos in time to man, 
the bridge of revelation had never been com- 


Ilplv A3paau yeviadai eyu d(ii. — John 8: 58. 

If the prologue of John's biography of the 
Logos, so beautifully portrayed, is lacking in 
any one respect, it is the brevity of its allu- 
sion to the pre-existent state of the Son of 

He seems to halt long enough upon the 
threshold of the sublime narrative merely to 
make secure his pathway of movements, 
meantime exciting in the beholder an inter- 
est in the revelation, only satisfied by sub- 
sequent though fragmentary references made 
to it. He tells us that "In the beginning 
was the Word " (John i : i). 

At this pithy utterance there is a natural 
temptation to demur, but upon second thought 



it will be discovered that enough is contained 
therein to make the most anxious wise, even 
unto salvation. John has winged his way 
sufficiently far into the hidden recesses of 
the past and has recorded enough to increase 
the faith and confirm the hope of dying men 
in Him who is the Life and Light of men. 
(John i : 4.) And this seems adequate to 
the situation, as it embraces both all that 
was necessary and all that was possible. It 
was necessary that the eternity of Christ 
should be an established fact, in order to meet 
the situation of fallen humanity, since belief 
in Him is the prime condition of eternal 
life. (John 3 : 15, 16; 1 John 5:11, 12.) As 
a prominent evidence of the eternity of 
Christ and of His consequent pre-existence 
as to time and humanity, we have to refer 
but the introductory phrase of the Johannic 

The (Ev apxv) "in the beginning" here is 
plainly antecedent to the (JTK^OD) " m tne 
beginning " in Genesis. With Moses, while 


the eternity of Deity is taken for granted, 
the personality of the Son, nor yet the fact 
of His being, was hinted at, to say nothing 
of His already existent state. With these 
data the Christology of John begins, since 
they are absolutely fundamental to the estab- 
lishment of his profound discoveries and 
predications respecting the Logos. 

That the being of Christ was prior to, and 
entirely independent of, all temporal consid- 
erations, is clearly manifest from the revela- 
tion He gives of Himself. To Abraham the 
Jews accorded antecedence in time ; but this 
claim was abolished by the stronger revelation 
that, "Before Abraham was, I am" (John 8: 
58). To the "Father of the faithful" the 
Great Teacher attributed merely a temporal 
existence (yevecOai), while of Himself eternal 
being (dfU) is predicated. All humanity exists 
or has come into being, but Divinity always 
has been and will ever continue to be. It 
is bounded on all sides by the infinite uni- 
verse of eternity. 


" There is another view of the matter which 
I never saw developed, but one which power- 
fully confirms my position. It is stated thus 
in the catholic creed of Christendom : — 
' And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only be- 
gotten Son of God, begotten of His Father 
before all worlds, God of gods, Light of 
light, very God of very God, begotten, not 
made, being of one substance with the Father, 
by whom all things were made.' The dis- 
tinction between ' created ' and ' begotten ' is 
not only a proper one, but is one of infinite sig- 
nificance. God could beget but not create 
the Lord Jesus Christ. He could ' make ' 
man, and make him in the image of this God- 
man, but in no sense could He ' make ' the 
Lord Jesus Christ. Adam was made out of 
a substance which the fiat of the Almighty 
produced out of nothing. But no act of will 
or power could produce the Person of the 
Mediator of the nature of God, and, indeed, 
'very God.' 

"The Lord Christ was indeed 'begotten,' 


not 'created,' and this infinitely distinguishes 
Him from all other beings, and exalts Him 
infinitely above all other beings, notwithstand- 
ing the fact that the Father, in the act of be- 
getting the Son, saw fit to ally His divine 
nature to an order in the rank of creation 
lower than that of angels ; hence the sig- 
nificance of the term so often used in the 
Scriptures, ' the Son of God,' ' the only be- 
gotten Son of God,' His 'only,' His 'well 
beloved Son.' But the common view strips 
these terms of deep and wondrous meaning, 
of all their beauty and appropriateness. The 
Lord Jesus, in His origin and humanity, was 
in no wise distinguished from any other man 
created out of the dust of the earth, if the 
common view is the true one " (" History of 
the Cross "). 

Anterior to the laying of earth's founda- 
tion or the appearance of the first speck of 
shapeless matter in the world of chaos, the 
Son of God dwelt in the mysterious folds of 
His own personality or shared the glory of 


a hypostatic trinity. Before a single star 
twinkled in space, or the first atom evolved 
from nonentity, in the bosom of the Almighty 
Father rested the Eternal Logos. In the dis- 
tant, dateless seons of eternity, there He 
sat, Lord over all, God blessed forevermore. 
Above all principalities and powers, higher 
than heaven's highest hierarchies, His was 
undisputed supremacy, His all power and 
glory. When, as yet, angels were untold, or 
ministrant spirits slumbered only in omnis- 
cient thought, this Ancient of Days did sit, 
the only begotten Son of the Father, by 
Divine degree, — was sovereign Lord of all 
that was or was to be. 

Among the order of created intelligences a 
little higher than man, the angels rank first. 
Greatest of all created beings, their prime 
and chief duty was subjection to Christ. 
Eternal allegiance was due to Him as Sov- 
ereign Lord and Maker ; and this because 
from Him their being and creation came. 
" For by him were all things created, that are 


in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and 
invisible, whether they be thrones, or domin- 
ions, or principalities, or powers : all things 
were created by him, and for him : and he is 
before all things " (Col. i : 16, 17). Nor can 
it be conceived but that to Him the most 
willing ascription of universal majesty has 
ever been accorded. Him the angels praised 
and glorified ; Him they adored in the highest. 
For countless ages, supreme homage was 
yielded Him as the only begotten Son of the 
Eternal Father. Throughout the intermina- 
ble plains of the upper world, harmony and 
felicity reigned while the sceptre of sover- 
eignty was swayed by the Son. 

His will was the supreme pleasure of the 
entire angelic and celestial host. No ripple 
was perceptible in the flow of heaven's service. 
No unwelcome spot or speck could be dis- 
cerned in heaven's pure and spiritual atmos- 
phere, while yet the holy Son was awed by 
all. How long the holy ranks of angels re- 
mained unbroken, no one can tell. It was un- 


revealed to man when allegiance to high 
heaven's appointed King was discontinued. 
They might have kept their probationary state 
through numberless cycles, much longer than 
man kept his, most likely. Why they were 
not willing as a whole to worship the Almighty 
Prince throughout the eternities, can only be 
surmised. The entire problem covers a field 
of mystery inexplorable by creature capacity, 
and will baffle all successful speculation 
throughout all time. Waiving, then, all con- 
jecture as to the cause of angelic disloyalty and 
treason, the sequence and effect of their apos-. 
tasy is accepted by every believer in a re- 
vealed reference to the case. 

Nor did the rebellion and fall of angels in 
any wise affect the universality and omnipo- 
tency of Christ's sovereign sway. For even 
in the lake prepared for the devil and his 
angels, confession is made that " Jesus is 
Lord, and beside him there is no other." 
The devils, though in hell, were as truly sub- 
jects of Christ's governmental control and su- 


premacy, as when they kept their first estate 
in heaven. But all the angels did not sin. 
It was only a fractional part of the armies of 
heaven that withheld allegiance from their 
Divine Chieftain. All the true followers of 
the celestial standard continued their de- 
votion and worship of the Logos as if no 
disturbing element had ever entered heaven's 
plains, or as if the melody of celestial har- 
mony was never checked. 

" The rebellion in heaven was waged against 
the ' One Mediator,' and was put down and 
checked by Christ's kingly power. And the 
confirmation of those who remained steadfast 
in their allegiance was the official act of the 
Great Daysman. He was the Judge who 
experienced the awful prerogatives of eternal 
justice in that supreme hour in heaven's his- 
tory, the same Judge who will sit on the 
throne in the day of final judgment, and on 
the same ground, and by virtue of the same 
authority vested in Him from the beginning, 
will pronounce the sentence of life and of 


death eternal, and separate forever the right- 
eous from the wicked. The wonderful ways 
of providence also on this earthly theatre dur- 
ing four thousand years of eventful history, 
were all ordered and shaped and controlled 
and subserved by the same Hand that hurled 
Satan from his seat, and exalted the angels 
that kept their first estate, and that ever since 
has been rolling on towards completion the 
eternal purposes of the Godhead " (Sher- 



Ev avrw rur). — John I : 4. 

As its Creator, the life of the world, in the 
most universal sense, has its source and 
fountain-head in the Logos. Before He put 
forth His creative energies in space, or 
brooded by His omnific spirit above the womb 
of nonentity, no protoplastic motion stirred 
chaotic stillness, nor anything breathed that 
now breathes. The tiny plant hid yet its 
spiral head, the snow-hued lily slept within 
its latent couch, atomic insects sparkled not 
in dusty regions or danced in nature's sun- 
beams. No daisy turned its velvet bosom 
sunward, no perfumed dahlia filled the air 
with incense. In unknown depths leviathan 

gambolled and ichthyosaurus could not stir 



a limb. Embryonic life slumbered in prim- 
ordial cells, and all nature slept the sleep of 
universal death. 

Step by step can we trace the progress of 
life in nature, as we follow the light of revel- 
ation. Against such systematic organization 
and development, science utters not a word 
of protest ; nor will it ever utter a syllable of 
objection to the record of inspiration, since 
its Author is one with the Author of revela- 
tion. It is only when science is falsely called 
such, or when obscured by superficial investi- 
gations, or is hampered by the manacles of 
creature bias and predilections ; in a word, it 
is only when it sees through a glass darkly, 
that it fails to see in every crevice and phase 
of nature the mighty workings of nature's 

To confess that the Word of God is a being 
of order, as of sovereign potency, one has 
but to glance at the revelation of Moses be- 
fore turning to the testimony of John. Viewed 
as the thought of God, the Logos is the most 

LIFE. 31 

glorious in majesty, when considered in the 
plan of the universe. The pattern for all 
things was either formed within Himself or 
conceived in the mind of Deity. But not 
only as the content of the Divine mind, but 
by the expression of Divine activity also, the 
Logos is most transcendently set forth in 
the unfoldings of the Johannic revelations. 
To His eternal omnipotent energy John 
ascribes universal creation in the dictum, 
" All things were made by him " (John i : 3). 
Between this utterance and the initial state- 
ment of Genesis, where Moses attributes creat- 
ive acts to God, there is no conflict, since the 
same omniscient spirit dictated both. The 
Logos was not the recipient of delegated 
power from God, in any sense, since it would 
be impossible for such to be, in the first place ; 
and since, again, He was Himself the em- 
bodiment of divinity. (John 1 : 1.) The 
Almighty God and the Eternal Logos must 
therefore be one. 

Our postulate, " In him was life," is suscep- 


tible of infinite expansion and application. 
Though not intended to be understood with 
reference to natural life, yet no violence is 
committed to the thought involved to admit 
its applicability to the entire material fabric 
of nature, with its varied phases of animation. 
Nor does the idea embrace merely this. Its 
scope includes not only every form of being, 
but all shades of existence, every variety of 
energy, every mode of material condition. 
Superlatively it takes the angels, and man 
next, a little lower than the angels. In the 
Eternal Logos, the celestial intelligences, like 
finite mortals, live and move and have their 
being ; but so also the speechless and thought- 
less creation. 

The inhabitants of the atmosphere, the 
cattle upon a thousand hills, the finny millions 
of watery depths were all indebted to Him 
for creation, as well as Providence. Yet not 
only is Divine origin and superintendence 
asserted respecting the beasts that perish or 
falling sparrows, but even the grass of the 

LIFE. 33 

fields, which to-day flourishes and to-morrow 
is cast into the oven, owe their beauty, their 
verdure, their vitality to Him in whom was 

For if it be true that the Logos is not the 
hypostasis of every type of creation, in what 
sense could the apostle declare that "all 
things were made by him ; and without him 
was not any thing made that was made " 
(John i : 3) ? From the minutest dust particles 
floating in the sunbeam, to the most stupen- 
dous world revolving in space ; from insect 
and angelic creation, emanates and perpetu- 
ates the divine virtue of Him whom the 
evangelist most fittingly styles, " the Word of 
life " (i John i : i). 

Gaze whither we may, this Word of life is 
most strikingly manifest in attributes in the 
manifold works of creation. Here it is most 
clearly revealed as both living and powerful. 
Identically such was its nature from the in- 
cipient morn of creation. Then the Almighty 
Logos spake, and it was done. He com- 


manded, and His decrees stood immutably 
fast Hear Him as He speaks to the chaotic 
depths of nonentity ! See how the light 
flashes outward from their gloomy dungeons 
at the sound of His omnific fiat ! Behold yon 
monarch of nature as he rides forth in his 
fiery chariot, darting his lurid looks on all be- 
neath ! Who bade him wake from his dun- 
geon of slumber and stare his eye-balls 
through desolation vast ? Who bade the dry 
land appear or to be clothed with grass and 
plants, and fields and forests to be robed in 
vernal glory ? Who halted the mighty waters 
in their proud dominions, and commanded 
them to yield to life their inanimate multi^ 
tudes ? Heed not the answer which agnos* 
ticism may give nor that which scepticism 
may insinuate. They who are ignorant of the 
hand of God in nature, and they who deny 
the display of His creative genius in the stu- 
pendous world-system, must merge forth from 
the dominion of darkness and death ; must be- 
come like little children, or be born from 

LIFE. 35 

above, before they can accept the truth as ap- 
plied to the Logos that, " In him was life " 
and that "all things were made by him." 
(John r : 3, 4.) 

But the Logos as Life is only superficially 
comprehended, unless considered in the light 
of His spiritual significance. The infinite 
meaning encouched in the phrase can only 
be discovered by that vision which, healed by 
faith, is enabled to peer through this cosmic 
curtain and revel amid the grandeurs of the 
new creation. It is of those alone who have 
or would experience the second birth, that 
the Saviour directly proclaims Himself the 
Life. (John 14 : 6.) In harmony with the 
same thought, the ideal revelator employs his 
favorite expression, and speaks of the Logos 
as the Word of life. (1 John 1 : 1.) The os- 
tensible meaning of the apostle's phraseol- 
ogy doubtless is, that aside from the Logos 
there is no mediation. 

In a similitudinous aspect the vitalizing 
character of the Logos is also beautifully re- 


fleeted. He declares Himself to be the Bread 
of Life. (John 6 : 35.) For spiritual sustenta- 
tion and immortality, food is as indispensable 
to the soul as to the bodies of men. With- 
out it the world had already perished, and 
would continue in its state of indigence and 
death. But it is a happy revelation that its 
salvation was secured by its appropriating life 
from Him who, as living Bread, came down 
from heaven. (John 6: 51.) The interrup- 
tions of spiritual death are not only neutral- 
ized by the impartation of this higher life, 
but even physical death affords an inviting 
channel for its perpetual outflow. (John 
8: 5L52.) 

The wealth and grandeur of the life derived 
from the great Author of life consists in its 
endlessness. Its inception may indeed be 
referred to time, but its culmination is reached 
when eternity can be limited. Nor is its pos- 
session postponed to the hereafter. Here 
and now everlasting life is the boon of the 
believer. (John 6 : 47.) Everywhere this 

LIFE. 37 

sublime doctrine receives fresh confirmation 
from the Saviour. He taught it during the 
midnight interviews with Nicodemus and 
preached it in His noon-day discourses to the 
woman of Samaria. (John 3:4; 4 : 14.) 

Again and again did He endeavor to force 
His convictions home to those who clamored 
for His blood, but seemingly without avail. 
(John 5: 24; 6: 40; 8: 51.) Because He 
demonstrated His life-giving power, the Jews 
sought to put Him to death ; but He gave 
them to understand that the offering of His 
life was not compulsory : that He had power 
to lay it down and to take it up. (John n : 
33; 10: 7*8.) 



Kal 6 TwyoQ aup^ tyeveTO. — John 1 : 14. 

While the Johannic revelation reflects the 
Divinity, it no less certainly emphasizes the 
assumed humanity of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
Desiring to introduce the transcendent Per- 
sonage in a practical manner, the glory-vis- 
ioned seer at once presents the Author of life 
to a perishing world. Marvellous is the tran- 
sition he makes from eternity to time, from 
heaven to earth, and from Deity to man. 
But lest the revelations overtax our faith, and 
the cords of our sympathies become severed 
in efforts to grasp the Infinite, he simplifies 
the sublime, retrenches the mystic, and, in 
a word, makes a long story short by present- 
ing man to his Elder Brother. God thus 



manifest in the flesh, pictorialized in human 
nature, and radiating in matchless speech, act, 
and life, became the greatest possible expres- 
sion of heavenly thought, the most ample 
confirmation of infinite love. 

The appearance of Christ in the flesh was 
not the first instance of Divine assumption of 
man on record. Greek and Roman divinities 
were represented with human embodiments 
and as exercising human functions ; neverthe- 
less, such representations were invariably 
coupled with human weaknesses. Even such 
notorious potentates as Domitian, Caligula, 
and Diocletian claimed divine honors, and ar- 
rogated to themselves divine character. 

But whenever men or gods attempt to im- 
personate the true God, such efforts not only 
proclaim rank sacrilege, but exhibit their sui- 
cidal character in revelations derogatory to 
both divine and human claims. In such 
cases the gods are no better than men and 
men are analogous to devils. 

In speaking of an incarnate being, the idea 


of the condescension of one of a wholly supe- 
rior order is pre-supposed. So when John 
speaks of the Divine Logos appearing in the 
flesh, we shall expect of the narrative com- 
plete compatibility with all the preceding and 
subsequent claims characterizing it ; also, cor- 
respondence with the highest manifestations 
of the most refined humanity. 

This remarkable account declares that the 
Word was made flesh. (John i : 14.) While 
the pre-existence and divinity of the Word is 
here conceded, it is not implied that God was 
changed to man, but that He became united 
to man. To do this He did not make Him- 
self of no reputation so much as that He 
emptied or divested Himself of divine dig- 
nity, according to the idea in the original. 
The veritableness of our Lord's humanity 
radiated from His every earthly act and ut- 
terance. Though presented to human view 
by John at a stage of achieved manhood, He 
was still formed and fashioned as a man, hav- 
ing a human body and soul. His childhood 


was analogous to that of Adam's posterity 
generally, save in its environments and ex- 
traordinary features. As a child, He prob- 
ably wept and smiled, as cloud and sunshine 
marked His early life. As a child, He was 
subject to His parents, gladly doing their 
bidding, cheerfully consulting their will. As 
a child, He increased in favor with God and 
man, until, achieving Divine consciousness, 
He set about His Father's business. The 
intermediate scenes of His career are not 
revealed. At thirty, however, the character- 
istic age for the assumption of priestly func- 
tions, the curtain is drawn, and what do we 
see ? We see the Lamb of God, which tak- 
eth away the sin of the world. (John i : 39.) 
In other words, we have in this spectacle the 
atonement pre-figured, personified. In tran- 
scendent beams, here streams His glory, the 
glory of the only begotten of the Father, full 
of grace and of truth. (John 1 : 14.) 

In the history of the functional life of the 
Logos, what a beautiful blending of the ordi- 


nary and extraordinary, the natural and pre- 
ternatural. As a man, He arrests us by His 
social and sociable instincts. He converses 
with men and takes them into His fellowship. 
At another moment, His social nature is ex- 
pressed at the marriage festival ; in His en- 
tertainment of Nicodemus ; in His discourse 
with the woman of Samaria. (John 2 : 7 ; 3 : 
1 ; 4 : 10.) 

But man is sympathetic as well as social, 
so He not only commingles with men, but 
feels with and for them. And so we see in 
the God-man the full play of those acts of 
benevolence, the outcome of this feeling. He 
listened to the nobleman's tale of grief, and 
healed his son ; His heart was touched with 
pity for the impotent man at the pool, and He 
restored him ; the sight of the hungry multi- 
tudes moved Him, and He satisfied their 
needs ; in the darkness, upon the turbulent 
waters, He quells the fears of the disciples. 
(John 4 : 50 ;" 5 : 1 5 ; 6 : 1 1 ; 6 : 20.) 

As benevolence is a higher office of sym- 


pathy, we see this virtue beaming again and 
again from His gracious acts. Take the case 
of the accused adulteress submitted to Him 
for adjustment. The charge seems well sus- 
tained in matter, if not in manner. But He 
tempers judgment with mercy, and dismisses 
her in peace. (John 8 : 14.) The expression 
of this heavenly trait of our Lord is strikingly 
attested in the presence of the bereaved fam- 
ily, when He groans in troubled spirits and 
weeps at the grave of Lazarus. (John 1 1 : 

33. 35-) 

But as sympathy is much beneath its 
mark, and benevolence below its climax, until 
it glows an'd shines in love, so of this match- 
less Personage, John testifies that, " Having 
loved his own which were in the world, he 
loved them unto the end " (John 13 : 1). 

The incarnation of the Logos, then, is as 
real and indisputable as the personality of 
Hannibal or Shakespere. The scepticism 
which now questions His divine union with 
humanity once admitted that union only in a 


specific sense. It acknowledged the divine 
factor then in conjunction with the human 
thought at the expense of the divine. Now 
the tendency is to emphasize and exalt the 
human by discountenancing the divine alto- 

Then the evidences of the supernatural were 
so glaring and stubborn, that even the blind 
by prejudice admitted them, though they 
found them stones of offence. Some were 
honest in their scepticism, as St. Thomas 
the doubter and St. Paul the persecutor. 

To all such now, as then, the truth, when 
accepted, will display the glory of God re- 
vealed in Jesus Christ. If we accept Him 
only as man, the most perfect of men simply, 
only in this life may we hope in Him. Around 
the nucleus of this faith a new brotherhood 
may cluster ; but for the lack of the life of a 
higher faith, its works will die and leave us 
of all men most miserable. If, on the other 
hand, we appropriate Him as the best human 
expression of the Divine ; if upon the wings 


of a sanctified faith we betake ourselves 
above the dark regions of unbelief, through 
the unclear atmosphere of rationalism into 
the lofty realm of infinite love and truth, we 
will both see Him who is invisible and know 
hereafter what is now not known. 


To substantiate the authority of a visible 
or invisible God to finite conception, natural 
evidences are ever feasible, ever admissible. 
Than both dogma and doctrine, they occupy 
a higher place in the scale of religious import- 
ance, a loftier rank in the systems of divine 
truth. As products of human judgment 
they may both err, while the voice of God in 
nature, like His unerring hand, is capable of 
no variableness nor shadow of turning from 
the truth. Should the atheist insist that 
there is no God, or the agnostic doubt that 
He can be known, natural evidences, with 
protesting tongue, will assert that God is true 
though every man be false. Paul was right, 
then, when he capitalized in the material 
fabric of nature, decisive arguments of the 



eternal power and Godhead as against unbe- 
lief and wickedness. Nor was John wrong 
when, upon His mastery of the forces of 
nature, he discovers the manifest glory of the 
Son of God, and posits upon the genuineness 
of miracles the evangelical faith of the early 

Whatever else may be alleged in behalf of 
miracles and the propriety of their use on 
the part of the Founder of the Christian 
religion, it cannot be denied but that they 
were beyond satanic manipulation, and sup- 
ported the mission of truth. If it be true 
that they alone attest the truth, it is only 
reasonable that we should expect their em- 
ployment by Him whom revelation styles the 
Truth. Upon such instrumentalities Heaven 
has placed a patent right, and all reproduc- 
tions in the name or bearing the semblance of 
them are lying wonders, merely intended to 
vindicate the cause of error in opposition to 
that of truth. If it be no marvel that Satan 
transforms himself into an angel of light, 


it is not surprising at times to find him usurp- 
ing the livery of heaven in which to do the 
service of hell. With what ingenuity does he 
set about, through Jannes and Jambres, to 
duplicate and weaken the intervention of 
divine power in the Mosaic ministry ! But 
while his machinations were apparently suc- 
cessful with the ancient leader of Israel, so 
successfully foiled he was in his first engage- 
ment with the Captain of our salvation, or so 
thoroughly assured of His heaven-born su- 
premacy, that he neither imitated nor tempted 
Him thenceforth. 

Clear, then, is the gospel track for the 
triumphant movement of miracles when the 
Word of God begins His ministerial course 
in the flesh. In adopting miracles for the 
expression of momentous realities, He neither 
violated the laws of nature nor contradicted 
Himself. As its monarch, He knew infinitely 
more about nature than man, and simply 
utilized the latter's ignorance to his eternal 


Somewhere in Farrar's " Life of Christ," it 
is intimated that everywhere in nature the 
philosophy of the supernatural may be dis- 
covered. Instead of accounting for mysteri- 
ous physical manifestations on the ground of 
a sovereign mediation, that writer resolves 
the most striking phenomena to the influence 
and sequence of natural operations. He also 
intimates that what we style supernatural 
is only natural, and that the mysterious are 
only reflections of our obscure discriminations. 
He further ventures the suggestion that the 
incomprehensibility of the so-called miracu- 
lous readily disappears at the touch of knowl- 
edge, love, and faith. 

He who would master nature's secrets must 
first of all convince her of his love. In her 
friendliness he must confide, to her gentlest 
whispers must ever lend a sensitive ear. No 
earnest, truth-loving votary of nature is ever 
turned aside. To all such she is ever ready 
to unbosom her secrets or unlock her treas- 
ures. No sooner is her spirit imbibed, than 


the enamoured devotee becomes elevated to a 
plane from which streams transcendent floods 
of light. From this lofty point, in looking 
upwards, his healed vision is bathed in the 
effulgent streams of wisdom, so that, in look- 
ing downwards, light also springs up from 
the most darksome corner of nature. It was 
from this eminence that Newton espied his 
secret of universal affinity ; here Franklin 
saw how the lightning could be tamed ; and 
Watt, how the most inimical forces in nature 
might be unified and made obedient to the 
behest of science and human will. 

It is simply because man knows so much 
and loves nature so well that the natural ele- 
ments are so beautifully blended and are 
affectionately responsive to his every call. 
The water hears him, and straightway makes 
obeisance. He speaks to the air, and pos- 
terity will awake from its slumber to give 
audience. The strong heart of the earth is 
touched by the wooing of his voice, and at 
once she unbosoms a thousand unrevealed 


mysteries. With lips no longer mute, she 
speaks through her rocks and trees and 
metals ; and man, her listening disciple, soon 
becomes enriched with the hidden bounties 
of the past or present. 

Among the recorded miracles of our Lord, 
none excites human wonder more than His 
raising the dead. But what is it to be dead ? 
If it be only a disorganization and dissolution 
of the ties of nature, then, given an adequate 
knowledge of the relations and operations of 
nature and competent power to reconstruct 
and revive its disintegrated fabric (admitting 
the analogy between natural and spiritual 
factors) and the resurrectionary claim of our 
Saviour, " I am the resurrection, and the life " 
(John ii : 25), is at once simplified. 

Never man spake like Christ nor performed 
the miracles that He did, chiefly because 
that of human nature no man possessed so 
varied and profound a knowledge ; because 
toward its laws no one ever sustained so har- 
monious a relation. Of humanity He must 


have sounded the core, for He knew what was 
in man and knew all men. (John 2 : 24, 
25.) His diagnosis of humanity was so 
transcendently adequate that by way of pre- 
eminence He is accepted as the Great Physi- 
cian. Even the fearful revelation of universal 
condition need not be despaired of, since He 
is able to save to the uttermost, and will in 
no wise cast out those coming to Him, 
though they be covered with wounds, bruises, 
and putrifying sores. 

As a master de facto in the realms of 
thought and being, that the Son of Man 
should hold undisputed empire over human 
and demoniacal spirits might be consistently 
expected. To be unable to uplift the curtains 
of ignorance from man's eyesight, or remove 
the film of sin from his spiritual vision, were 
to degrade the office of the Almighty Logos, 
and construe His plenipotentiary claims as 
mere verbiage, intended to delude the simple 
or captivate the weak. 

Let the sceptic, then, deny the place or pos- 


sibility of a violation or suspension of nature's 
operation in all the life and utterances of the 
God-man, and we are with him. But if such be 
his idea of the miraculous or of what is the prin- 
ciple and sum of the life of Christ, we are not 
with him. That life, from its auspicious dawn 
to its mature decline, wore a benediction of 
light and coronation of matchless beauty and 
magnificence. In its varied and mysterious 
trend, it was clothed with the majesty of the 
rainbow, which overtops yet smiles on all 
beneath. In its simplicity it was profound ; 
yet in that simplicity was perfect power, and 
the profundity it embodied touched the root 
of all things. While, upon the natural side, 
and with reference to its human origin, the 
lights and shadows giving color and form to 
other lives, mark this also, yet these were to 
this as is shadow to substance, hill to moun- 
tain, or part to entirety. Zoroaster, Confu- 
cius, and Socrates charmed their respective 
votaries with the musical accents of their 
striking lives ; but as the procession of pos- 


terity would come along, instead of finding 
impetus in the anthem of these lives, inhar- 
monious notes and discordant sounds so mar 
their movements, that ever and anon they 
turn aside, and await the calling or seek the 
footprints of some safer guide. No doubt 
but that had these mighty religious teachers 
lived with Christ in the flesh, and seen His 
wondrous works and heard the musical 
cadence of His sayings and felt the magnet- 
ism of His unique life, no doubt but that they, 
like Peter and James and John and Paul, 
would have left all and followed Him. 

, Eyu tint rfi Que rov koojmv. — John 8 : 12. 

Painfully is it true that ever since the 
advent of sin in Eden, the whole world lieth 
in darkness until now. Of its true character 
and intensity there can be no finite concep- 
tion. Not merely is the negation of light 
or predication of immoral delusion meant, 
when darkness is asserted as the natural 
state of the world, but, ostensibly, the 
thought refers to the moral pall cast upon 
the race by the invasion of sin, and the 
withdrawal of the reconciled countenance of 
Heaven from earth. Yet this was not all ; 
for since man was unable to comprehend 
the light that shone even in the darkness, 
for him was reserved the blackness of dark- 
ness forever, had not the Dayspring from 



on high visited us, and the Eternal Logos 
appeared as the Life and Light of the 
world. (John i.) Impenetrably thick was 
the deadly gloom which settled in forebod- 
ing heaviness in the spiritual atmosphere, 
but not so that it could not be pierced by 
the Sun of Righteousness. The heavenly 
Logos was able to proclaim Himself, above 
every disastrous mist of sin or appalling cloud 
of human guilt or shadowy confines of moral 
death, — above the fading lights of reason 
or the flickering rays of philosophy, — "the 
light of the world " (John 8:12). The eagle- 
piercing eye of John enabled him, while 
upon the mount of vision, to determine 
with equal accuracy concerning the Logos, 
that He was "the true Light," since He 
"lighteth every man that cometh into the 
world " (John 1 : 9). 

Light is but another expression for knowl- 
edge or truth. It also symbolizes the high- 
est moral excellence or spiritual perfection. 
As the embodiment of very truth itself (John 

LIGHT. 57 

14 : 6), Christ came into the world to impart 
a true knowledge of God. To all men He 
is the manifestation of light. Not simply is 
He such to those from whose eyes the 
"scales of darkness" are fallen, and who 
walk in the light as He is in the light, but 
even those held in the bonds of iniquity 
acknowledge and feel the unique perfection 
and excellence of the Incarnate Logos. 
Even the notorious Rosseau observed, "that 
if Jesus had not really lived, the conception 
of such a character as drawn in the narrative 
of the gospel, that narrative would itself be 
a miracle, a psychological problem, difficult 
to solve." The thought is yet more forcibly 
expressed and more clearly brought out by 
Paul Richter : " There appeared once upon 
earth an individual, who, by moral omnip- 
otence only, conquered far-off ages, and 
founded an eternity of His own ; who shone 
and attracted like a sun ; who moved nations 
and centuries round the eternal and universal 
centre. It is the quiet Spirit_ whom we call 


Jesus Christ. If He was, there is Providence, 
or He Himself is that Providence. Only 
gentle teaching and dying were the notes 
whereby this higher Orpheus tamed human 
beasts and turned rocks into cities. He, 
the purest among the mighty, the mighti- 
est among the pure, lifted, with His pierced 
hands, empires out of grooves, the stream of 
centuries out of its bed, and is still the Lord 
of the ages." 

Never more literally exemplified were infal- 
lible claims than the Great Teacher declared, 
that as long as He was in the world He was 
its light. (John 9 : 5.) Through His entire 
life's work and words beamed a transparent 
clearness. "In Him we find strength and 
gentleness, meekness and zeal, wisdom and 
simplicity, courage and patience, indomitable 
purpose, inflexible firmness, and the most 
delicate sensitiveness — all masculine and 
feminine excellencies perfectly blended ; and 
that not by any effort, but as the outflow 
of one deep, central fountain of perfect holi- 

LIGHT. 59 

ness and uninterrupted communion with the 
Father" (Saphir). 

As already intimated, light is symbolic of 
holiness. Hence, when Christ was called the 
Righteous (i John 2: 1) and the Holy One 
(1 John 2 : 20), it was only in accord with 
what was acknowledged concerning Him by 
the world. There were some who, more 
wicked than certain devils even, branded 
Him as a deceiver ; but by far the greater 
portion of humanity agreed that He was 
a good man. (John 7 : 12.) And though the 
adverse judgment of the minority con- 
demned Him to death, the acquittal verdict 
of the highest judgment was, that no fault 
was found in the man. (John 18:38.) For 
righteousness sake was He persecuted, even 
to death. He not only claimed to be the 
Son of God (John 19: 7), but was the Son 
of God. Though Heaven attested the claim 
in audible utterance (John 12: 28, 29), yet 
men rejected it in unbelief. Here we have 
in the rankest intensity the opposition of 


darkness to light, of sin to holiness. Here, 
through the midnight of the moral universe, 
flashes the lumination of eternal life, the 
lustre of which is prolonged sufficiently to 
insure a passage to the world of light. It is 
neither fleeting nor flickering, but its steady 
radiance bears down upon their deluded 
course. It would seem that, in the midst of 
such awe-inspiring revelations, even those in 
the jaws of death might look and live. But 
not so. For it is said, " The light shineth 
in darkness ; and the darkness comprehended 
it not " (John i : 5). 

The doctrines and doings of Jesus will 
ever baffle the natural understanding of men. 
Did the Sun of Righteousness never shine, or 
did He hasten to withdraw His glorious pres- 
ence from sin-enfeebled human nature ? Had 
He not risen, or, like some impatient meteor, 
darted through the moral void, closing the ave- 
nues of light behind Him, then might linger 
in mercy's heaven some faint ray of hope on 
which the doomed of sin might hang their 

LIGHT. 61 

fears. Our cosmic orb is eager to forsake 
the western plains at summer's height, as 
compared to the missionary season of 
heaven's visitant to earth. Joshua was no 
more a type of Jesus than was the sun of his 
faith symbolic of Him who " lighteth every 
man that cometh into the world " (John i : 9). 
As the Lord's people of old, under that de- 
vout chieftain, had the light of heaven de- 
layed for a season in their behalf, even so were 
men permitted to enjoy the prolonged light 
of the truth as it is in Jesus. As the revela- 
tion of God, however, the Logos informed 
the world of the impermanence of His light- 
giving presence, and gives warning of the 
danger of not improving the opportunity of 
seeing. " Yet a little while is the light with 
you. Walk while ye have the light, lest dark- 
ness come upon you : for he that walketh 
in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. 
While ye have light, believe in the light. 
I am come a light into the world, that who- 
soever believeth on me should not abide in 
darkness" (John 12 : 35, 36, 46). 


Before the advent of our Lord into the 
world, no subject was shrouded in greater 
mystery or enveloped in more intense dark- 
ness than that which related to man in the 
unseen world. Many notes of prophecies 
were heard echoing along the lines of the Old 
Dispensation ; but in reference to the old un- 
opened volume of eschatological bearing, they 
gave only indistinct utterances or uncertain 
sounds. Seer after seer had parted clouds 
or rent veils that barred the sight of mortals 
from the great unknown. But neither tel- 
escopic sight of faith or ken of poets had re- 
moved the pall or pierced the gloom or 
quelled the doubts over setting this all-mo- 
mentous, vitally solemn subject. Here and 
there, now and anon, above the religious 
horizon, and amid the celestial firmament, 
would float, with momentary transiency, some 
emitted ray from the luminary of eternal 
truth, conveying slight tokens of hope to a 
benighted world, or signifying scintillations 
ambiguous in response to the universally re- 

LIGHT. 63 

sounding query, " If a man die shall he live 
again ? " The burial of the great Jewish law- 
giver at the hand of the Almighty, the super- 
natural translation of Elijah, Ezekiel's vision 
of a revived valley of dry bones, King David's 
grief-occasioned solace that he could go to 
the death-sundered human tie that could 
never return unto him, indicated the cer- 
tainty of death and the powerful reality of 
the preternatural world, while they cast no 
light upon its true character nor helped to 
draw the curtain that draped its ominous 

If these thoughts justly apply to the feeble 
rays of revelation before the all-luminous 
blaze of the Sun of Righteousness, what a 
world of darkness would they render the fox- 
fire glare of philosophy as applied to death 
and its contingent issues ! While the relig- 
ious world lingered upon the brinks of uncer- 
tainty, while they waited for some light from 
the upper world, the intellectual world either 
groped in darkness or slept in blissful igno- 


ranee over the mightiest problem that could 
concern humanity or interest the angelic 
sphere of thought. 

In enumerating the radiating aspects of 
the Logos, one cannot fail to consider the 
original and sublime doctrines He taught and 
the fresh revelations of truths which He fur- 
nished the religious world. To the intellect- 
ual, moral, and religious nature of man, these 
truths and doctrines were forever hermeti- 
cally sealed, had they not been opened by the 
King of Glory. Through them, Divinity 
shone with the transparency of a sunbeam. 

To catch a glimpse of the ineffable influ- 
ence of the Logos as earth's most majestic 
luminary, one need not confine his gaze to 
those streams of lustre which flowed from 
the glory -crowned face of Him who beamed 
forth from the Mount of Transfiguration, but 
let him look steadfastly upon the course and 
character signified by the "star in the east." 
The horoscope of his vision will then extend 
beyond the radius of the halo of smiles about 

LIGHT. 65 

the babe in the manger, to the circle of 
brightness circumscribing the acts and say- 
ings of "the fairest of the sons of men." 

No such light ever dawned upon the spirit- 
ual consciousness of man or greeted his relig- 
ious eyesight, as that which shone from the 
doctrine of the new birth as taught by the 
world's Redeemer. As the Great Teacher 
came from God (John 3 : 2), He soon unfet- 
tered human vision, and enabled it to take in 
a ray of spiritual truth respecting the* celes- 
tial kingdom. Before this, regeneration as a 
fundamental pre-requisite to a proper concep- 
tion of divine things had never been taught ; 
nay, had not even been known to mortals ; 
nay, more, such a truth seems to have been 
shut out from even religious guides them- 
selves : " Art thou a master of Israel, and 
knowest not these things " (John 3 : 10) ? 
Not only was the subject shrouded in mys- 
tery or even mantled in impenetrable dark- 
ness, but it was even more than this ; for fo 
far as a consciousness of its reality was con- 


cerned, it was a mere blank or nonentity. If 
this be true, it is not strange or striking that 
its annunciation should have elicited such as- 
tonishment from Nicodemus. " Marvel not 
that I said unto thee, Ye must be born 
again " (John 3 : 7). 

Also upon salvation, its nature and modus 
operandi, was great light thrown by the all- 
illuminating Logos. In the highest sense 
truly did He bring life and immortality to 
light, when He answered by precept, as well 
as example, the questions of infinite merit, 
How and why are men saved ? Salvation 
had ever been possible, yea, even an accom- 
plished fact, since the achievement of its plan 
in the heavenly counsel ; yet how it was to be 
appropriated by helpless and lost humanity, 
or what was involved in its security, no angel 
whispered, no priest uttered, no prophet 

There was, indeed, a historical revelation of 
salvation, but only as the Logos manifested 
Himself through the medium of prophecy 

LIGHT. 67 

and law. Isaiah spoke of Christ as the 
Author of salvation, and saw His glory. 
(John 12 : 41.) The psalmist also gave ut- 
terances which found fitting application in 
the facts of His enthusiasm and opposition. 
"And his disciples remembered that it was 
written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten 
me up" (John 2 : 17). "I speak not of you 
all : I know whom I have chosen : but that 
the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth 
bread with me hath lifted up his heel against 
me" (John 13 : 18). Finally the Baptist 
appears as the last prophet and the immediate 
pioneer of the Logos. Though clearer in his 
conceptions and more definite in his prophe- 
cies concerning the true Light of the world, 
it was said of John, he "was sent to bear 
witness of that Light" (John 1: 8). "He 
was a star like that which guided the wise 
men to Christ ; a morning star ; but he was 
not the Sun ; not the Bridegroom, but a 
friend of the Bridegroom ; not the Prince, 
but His harbinger." 



'Eyii elfu r/ akfjdeta. — John 14: 6. 

The sublimity of the character and office 
of the Logos is imperfectly manifested, until 
seen in the light of the highest office of rev- 
elation, as well as in the light of the highest 
claim of all His earthly utterances. As else- 
where and previously observed, it is the office 
of speech to reveal thought. But this may 
be done without regard to the character of 
the revelation, for within its scope and ac- 
tivity is extended the bordering line between 
the domains of truth and error. And while 
it is the chief and highest prerogative of 
speech or revelation to discover the relation 
and distinction between the two, yet its duty 
may be performed and it may rest in content- 


TRUTH. 69 

ment when it has delivered itself of the bur- 
den of its mission by making known the will, 
thought, or feeling of the one in whose ser- 
vice it is employed. 

But more than this is to be affirmed of the 
nature and mission of the Word of God. 
The object of His entrance and career in the 
world was to impart a knowledge of the 
truth on the one hand — " And ye shall know 
the truth, and the truth shall make you free " 
(John 8: 32) — and to afford testimony to 
the truth on the other — " To this end was I 
born, and for this cause came I into the world, 
that I should bear witness unto the truth " 
(John 18 : 37). So lofty and infinite is the 
sphere of truth, so weighty its eternal respon- 
sibilities, that none dared to assume its high 
errand or meet its grave and varied implica- 
tions other than the self-volunteered, divinely- 
chosen Mediator. 

When heaven found it necessary to vindi- 
cate its righteousness, it was done through 
angelic instrumentalities. When it would 


make known its laws, it deputized human 
agency. But when it would have truth look 
down from its glorious habitations or spring 
up from the earth, the Son of God became 
its embassador and embodiment. "For the 
law was given by Moses, but grace and truth 
came by Jesus Christ" (John i : 17). 

Still all this may be so, and yet men may 
remain as distant in conception from the 
truth as ere its dawn first gilded these 
earthly plains. To catch a glimpse of its 
eternal sunlight, one need not climb the tow- 
ering height of intellectual vision. Genius 
and greatness must stand in its presence 
with uncovered heads ; yea, even pause at its 
feet, in humble posture, if they even would 
learn what truth is. Before we are prepared 
to institute a search for this celestial visitant 
to earth, let us forsake the proud stand of 
the proud ruler of old. Not with haughty 
spirit nor with a self-satisfied air would it do 
to seek its person or palace. If we know the 
truth or feel its power, we must leave all 

TRUTH. 71 

else with Pilate, but keep his query. Then, 
too, let us ask, "What is truth?" (John 18: 
38) and consider some of its incidental fea- 

At times, the negative definition of a thing 
is much more convenient and feasible than 
the positive. It is much easier to say what a 
thing is not than to define what it is. Such 
is the case when one begins to inquire into 
the nature of truth. In dealing with it, in- 
stinctively will the mind begin to institute a 
series of comparisons from contrasts, and 
employ illustrations world without end, and 
in the main leave the matter just where it 
was found — involved in obscurity So that, 
after all, we must incline somewhat sympa- 
thetically toward unfortunate Pilate in his 
method of settling the mightiest of all ques- 
tions, while we think his treatment of its 
value highly censurable. For while he in- 
quired what truth was, he is to be condemned 
for not pausing sufficiently long for an 


Had his bearing been less haughty and his 
conduct yet more manly in the presence of 
the great Person of Truth, the fetters, which 
held him fast bound in error's slavery, might 
have yielded ; and he, poor, time-serving, vac. 
illating mortal, might have been able to step 
forth as a son of Light. 

Yet he advances one step in the direction 
of freedom. He makes a slight movement 
toward the Empire of Truth, though uncon- 
sciously, when he shows up its negative side ; 
or, perhaps, more charitably, when he re- 
vealed its positive character : " I find in him no 
fault " (John 18 : 38). If the Person of Truth 
is to be sought, here must the start begin. 
Its faultlessness implies its perfectness. 
Truth is as much the opposite of faultiness 
and error, as light is of darkness. It is per- 
fect in its individual parts and in its entirety. 
Truth suffers no admixture with error, be- 
cause it is inseparable from itself. Fact may 
resemble it, but it is infinitely higher than 
fact. The latter may be hopelessly dis- 

TRUTH. 73 

jointed and so perverted that it may have 
only the current value of fiction : but 

" Truth crushed to earth will rise again. 
The eternal years of God are hers." 

Confronting the universe of truth, and re- 
sisting the Logos on every side, was the 
world of stubborn facts and nurtured error. 
The chief design and crowning point of His 
earthly career was to meet, combat, and con- 
quer these, and, having spoiled them, to make 
a public show of them. Of the two forces of 
opposition, facts were less insidious and in- 
veterate than fiction, because no one would 
object to them because they were the foun- 
dation stones of all moral, social, and civil 
institutions. Facts were stubborn things to 
confront, and not easily silenced; and hence 
those who knew not the truth, and who op- 
posed it through ignorance, were usually well 
armed with and intrenched in facts. Never- 
theless, in contradistinction to these and in 
opposition to them, in so far as they were in- 
adequate to promote His cause, the Logos 


erects a sky-kissing platform upon which He 
rests not as transcendent fact, but as infinite 

To vanquish error, the creature of darkness, 
and to destroy the works of Satan, was the 
Logos manifested. "For this purpose the 
Son of God was manifested, that he might 
destroy the works of the devil " (i John 3 : 
8). And since this phase of His career was 
more conspicuous, it deserves more than a 
passing notice ; for, observe that conflict 
with error and its destruction was the para- 
mount object of the mediatorial scheme and 
the sum total of our Logos business on earth > 
hence the consistency of the embittered hos- 
tility against Him and the Truth He would 
establish in the hearts of men. The plot of 
that nefarious tyrant to destroy the infant 
Logos, was but one of an innumerable series 
of blows aimed at the Head of the kingdom 
of light by the prince of darkness. 

The Logos asserts Himself to be, not only 
the living way to God, but the true way (John 

TRUTH. 75 

15 : 1) ; yea, even truth itself. " I am the 
way, the truth, and the life" (John 14: 6). 
In ignorance of this superlative fact, how 
lamentable is the thought that the world was 
dungeoned for ages. Since light may be 
synonymous with truth, the idea of the 
apostle may be better understood when ap- 
plied to the Logos under the former dispen- 
sation, to whose unperceived activities he 
doubtlessly alluded in the expression, " The 
light shineth in darkness ; and the dark- 
ness comprehended it not " (John 1 : 5). 
Not only to Jehovistic revelations and theo- 
phanistic manifestations everywhere promi- 
nent prior to the earthly movements of the 
Logos does he refer, but the persistent 
obliviousness of the world to the presence 
and power of truth personified, he summarizes 
in the phase, " He was in the world and 

the world knew him not" (John 1 : 10). How 
glaring is this fact in the face of our Lord's 
conflict with unbelief and error in all their 
hydra forms ! 


He charged the world as being under alle- 
giance to Satan — " Ye are of your father the 
devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. 
He was a murderer from the beginning, and 
abode not in the truth, because there is no 
truth in him " (John 8 : 44) — and in subjection 
to error and sin, as accounting for its ethical 
obtuseness and deficiency in point of spirit- 
ual intuitiveness. But from this bondage 
there is hope in the promise of effectual 
emancipation. It is to be brought about not 
through the triumphant march of civilization, 
nor by the conquest of thought or culture. 
The disciples of Plato might not see it, nor 
obstinate subjects, nor devotees of worldly 
wisdom ever greet its unfolding presence, 
but its majestic power is to begin, and its 
disenthralling character become manifest, 
when the hinges of unbelief give way to the 
authoritative tread and divine entrance of the 
Teacher of men. Ere this knowledge is pos. 
sessed, the Logos must be accepted as the 
Word of God, and His doctrine loved and 

TRUTH. 77 

observed. However, continuance therein 
alone gives assurance of religious liberty 
" And ye shall know the truth, and the truth 
shall make you free " (John 8 : 32). 



Katfwf T/yunijaiv fie 6 irarr/p, nayu v/iat; rjyamjaa. — John 1 5 : 9- 

Contemplated in any light whatever, the 
subject of divine love is one fraught with 
ever increasing interest and wonder. Nor is 
its significance and intrinsic value ever to be 
comprehended by finite capacities. Yet, not 
only does it present to all human intelligence 
"a problem that passeth understanding," but 
its solution or investigation challenges even 
supernatural wisdom, and may be ranked 
chiefly among the things "angels desire to' 
look into." 

This is none the less true in whatsoever 
aspect or bearing the theme may be conned. 
Take it in its barest abstraction, and con- 
sider the love of Deity per sc. Upon its re- 


LOVE. 79 

motest border the philosopher must ever 
linger, while upon its infinite thought-sea 
the child of fancy may only make superficial 
plunges or flights. Without the pales of revel- 
ation, the problem of God's love is surrounded 
by the boundless fields of speculation. Out- 
side of what is revealed, no one can tell what 
it is or naught else concerning it ; for, not to 
begin with what is uttered through inspira- 
tion respecting it, what could be the starting 
point of finite judgment about it, or in what 
manner would it proceed, or where would be 
its egress, having already started ? If upon 
the fact in nature the reality of the divine 
love should be postulated, could anything be 
ascertained definitely of its character, appli- 
cation, or scope ? Suppose from the babbling 
brooks, the singing birds, the refreshing at- 
mosphere, and invigorating sunlight, should 
be proclaimed the truth that " God is love ; " 
suppose the same sublime sentiment should 
find expression in the fragrance of the flow- 
ers, in the beautiful tints of the rainbow, in 


the appetizing bounties of the fields and for- 
est, in the touch of friendship, and in melli- 
fluous strains of music ; suppose these same 
evangels should wing the air, and reverberate 
throughout the universe that " God is love," 
would not another and higher interpreter be 
needed to give meaning and adequacy to the 
truth ? That interpreter could be found in 
man only in part. Not in man in his activity 
so much as in man in his passivity. He 
alone of all mundane intelligences can read 
the sentiment of divine love in its self -human 
reflection. But as an exponent of this truth, 
in a still higher sense man is much inferior 
to the angels, since the latter are so much 
more exalted both in scale of being and intel- 
lectual endowment. Than man they know 
vastly more of their Divine Creator, occupy- 
ing so approximate a relation to Him in vir- 
tue of their constitution and occupation. 

From the standpoint of their superior 
eminence, both of native merit and acquisi- 
tion, certainly above other beings, they seem 

LOVE. 81 

best qualified to attest the chief expression of 
divine goodness. But while they may know 
more of this infinite attribute than man, even 
to their knowledge and possible attainments 
there is set a bound. In their untiring study 
of the divine nature, they are none the less 
absorbed in admiration and praise than lost 
in love and wonder. 

Revelling in seas of unrippled happiness, 
though swallowed up in love, they know only 
of its source, but can neither measure its 
height nor fathom its depth. To compre- 
hend its loftiness, intensity, or profundity, 
they must not only soar to heaven's climax, 
but delve to misery's lowest vortex. They 
must be able to sound the core of Eternal 
Being, must compass the borders of infinite 
holiness, must span the distance between 
justice and mercy, or bridge the gulf out- 
stretched from law to grace, ere they can 
enter into the mysteries of divine love or 
vibrate the chords of its feeblest notes. 

Not nature, then, nor man, nor yet the 


angels, are sufficient factors in the solution 
of the stupendous problem of divine love. 
Deity Himself, and He alone, must express 
and make it clear, since Gocl alone is truth 
and God alone is love. 

Among the manifold implications of love, 
none occupy a higher place or are entitled to 
more marked consideration than its correla- 
tives, union and communion. This is none 
the less true of finite than infinite love. To 
suppose the lack of union bet ween 1 ' subject 
and object, is to suppose not only the non- 
existence of love, but the contagions of dis- 
sension and hate. Between the lover and the 
one loved, the union must be almost undistin- 
guishable from oneness or identity; and the 
communion obtaining between them must 
not be mere association, but vital affiliation 
and fellowship. 

It is when we estimate the Logos in the 
light of these implications, that the initiatory 
claims of John's revelation regarding Him 
seem most strikingly sustained. His one- 

LOVE. 83 

ness and co-equality with God are pellucidly 
brought out in the statement that the Word 
was God (John I : i). 

In the same breath we also have the fact 
of the Son and Father's co-operation, one of 
the holy offices of love, a thought we shall 
amplify in the order succeeding this. 

Not more allied is human speech to human 
personality, than the bond of unity that 
relates conjointly the Son of God with His 
Heavenly Father. In the bosom of the 
Father the Son has ever occupied the sover- 
eign seat, and from the morning of eternity 
has reigned as " King of kings and Lord of 
lords." If the universal supremacy exer- 
cised by Christ were not of His own con- 
stitution, it was bestowed upon Him as the 
only begotten Son of God. The Father was 
pleased to glorify the Son, and it was no 
usurpation on the part of the latter to claim 
equality with the Father. Nevertheless, the 
greatness of Christ was as derived and con- 
ferred, in a sense, as i£ was inherent or the 


result of His divine nature. To this let us 
see more directly. As Son of God, the 
Logos became heir to divine sovereignty iri 
all things. High above all principalities, 
thrones, and powers, God appointed Him 
heir of all things. Not in the least was His 
sphere or glory to be compared with those 
of angels, He being made so much "bet- 
ter than the angels, as he hath by inher- 
itance obtained a more excellent name than 

It was not, then, until the First Begotten 
was brought into the world, that all the 
angels were to worship Him. If the annals 
of eternity could be explored, it would be 
found that many and unbounded were the 
ascriptions of sovereignty to Christ before 
the foundations of the earth were laid. The 
homage and worship of angels were, beyond 
doubt, among the expressions of glory He 
enjoyed with the Father before the crea- 
tion. That He was invested with supreme 
glory, He reminds His Father, as it were, 

LOVE. 85 

in that wonderful intercessory supplication 
made just before He was offered up on 

The full sense in which the Logos shared 
association with the Father can never be 
answered. Suffice it to say that a result 
of the affiliation obtained was fellowship 
and counsel with reference to the plans of 
creation and redemption. A thought in 
reference to each of these plans: — 

In reference to creation, it is the express 
teaching of John that all things were made 
by the Logos: "All things were made by 
him ; and without him was not any thing 
made that was made " (John i : 3). This 
must include every species of creation, every 
variety of existence, since without Him 
"was not any thing made that was made." 
Especially is the creation of this planet to be 
applied to Him, since the world was made by 
Him. (John 1 : 10.) Said Philo in his "Alle- 
gories," " The Word of God is over all the 
world, and is the most universal of all things 


thai are created." Again, in his "Questions 
and Solutions," the Word of God is "the 
first beginning of all things, the original 
species of the archetypal idea, the first 
measure of the universe." Yet vague and 
misty is the sublimest theory of heathen 
philosophy by the side of the most practical 
and fundamental datum of Christianity. 

That the Logos is the Alpha and Omega 
of the system of providence as of the plan of 
creation, is too patent from Scripture to admit 
of questioning. He who is the Beginning 
of eternal things must be the Author and 
Finisher of temporal matters. As this truth 
is applicable to the Father, in whom we " live, 
and move, and have our being," it is true 
of the Son, " by whom all things consist." 
Inseparable from the believer are the links 
in the chain of divine providence. He is 
" kept by the power of God unto sal- 

vation," while " underneath are the ever- 
lasting arms." 

He knoweth the frame and uniform 

LOVE. 87 

thoughts of His subjects, and exerciseth His 
providential regard toward them by number- 
ing the very hairs of their heads and caring 
for them. But herein is also beautifully 
blended the divine co-operation of the Son 
and the Father, in the guidance and well- 
being of the believer. He has not only 
granted a dispensation of the Spirit, but has 
vouchsafed His eternal presence and grace 
to His confident followers. 

But above all else in the divine affections 
and thought, was the plan of redemption. 
" For God so loved the world, that he gave 
his only begotten Son." Yet succeeding the 
consummation of the divine will and pleasure 
in this vital line, both preparatory steps and 
stages of development were involved. A 
covenant between the Word and Father was 
therefore entered into the remote councils of 
eternity, the subject-matter of which was the 
redemption of humanity from the ban of the 
broken law. Only could this be effected by 
the terms of the inimitable covenant being 


met. Its exactments, though superlatively 
rigid, were met in the sacrifice of the " un- 
speakable gift " of God. 

Had the Son interposed the slightest ob- 
jection, its wholesome promises would have 
fallen, its eternal provisions forever forestalled. 
But as He delighted to do the will of His 
Father, He readily acquiesced in the divine 
plan respecting man. 

As the Father loved the Son and the Son 
the Father, what the Father loved the Son 
also loved. Also, while it is true that God 
sent His Son, it is even true that the Son 
freely and cheerfully came. Love was the 
inspiration that moved and the celestial wings 
that bore Him to earth. It was the golden 
circle in which His forces played on earth, 
the golden chain that still linked His life to 

Thus the chief and most normal impulse of 
love is the sacrifice of self for its object. It 
seeks not its own interest or happiness, but 
spurns every phase of selfishness. Its min- 

LOVE. 89 

istry is that of benevolence and complacency. 
This ideal love has its abode and culminating; 
point in the heart of Divinity alone. On the 
part of the Infinite it became manifest in the 
inestimable Logos gift. (John 3 : 16.) The 
value of this priceless legacy is only the more 
enhanced because of its conferment upon an 
undeserving and unappreciating world. (John 
3 : 17.) All other love is but dross as com- 
pared to this. Creature love or angelic love 
may be imperfect, since it tends again toward 
self ; but " herein is love, not that we loved 
God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son 
to be the propitiation for our sins" (1 John 
4: 10). 



Ol&afiiv oti unb deov k'Ki} Xvdaa dMSdovca/lof. — John 3 : 2. 

In the light of all the learning of which 
the world boasted for ages, — that which 
beamed from Akkadian myths and lore or 
streamed from the mathematical systems of 
Egypt or gilded the dicta of Indian savants 
or penetrated the body of Grecian meta- 
physics, that found liberty in prophetic 
schools or remained pent up in Alexandrian 
academies, — -yet still it was that the world at 
large and in particular needed a teacher from 
God. Neither Istarian legends nor Hindoo 
philosophy nor Chinese research nor Assyrian 
science nor Grecian poetry nor Roman 
theology could furnish aught of security 
beyond the comfortless pales of their own 
structures. They carried with them no 



internal evidence of vital worth; they bore 
no credentials of supreme authority. They 
were either vague or misleading, else dis- 
satisfied or unsatisfying. They bred anxieties 
among their devotees and cynicism among 
themselves. Their priests set up universal 
wails of discontent, and the people in lugu- 
brious echoes answered back. Men con- 
cerned themselves very little with the 
problem, What is truth ? but tried to solve 
its sensuous side, What is life and is it worth 
living ? Its origin, all said, was agnosticism ; 
its aim, knowledge and happiness ; its philo- 
sophic teachings, the avoidance of misery ; 
its inevitable, disappointment. 

Upon the threshold of the Christian era, 
just before the Great Teacher appeared, the 
essence of all true wisdom, it was taught, was 
to regard life with supreme indifference. 
Empedocles and Heraclitus, Plato and 
Hegesias, all regarded death as the chief 
benefactor of humanity. 

Thus the darkness and degeneracy which 


enveloped and pervaded the world with 
regard to its creed and character prior to the 
appearance of the Logos, can at once be 
seen. Therefore its need of a Teacher wiser 
and greater than Moses, or more authoritative 
and perfect than Socrates, must be readily 
perceived in the universal condition referred 
to. The most lamentable feature of this 
wide-spread and appalling cloud of ignorance 
is again perceptible, in that it obscured the 
spiritual sense or curtained the intellect or 
begloomed the moral consciousness of priest 
as well as credulous followers. In the main 
and in a word, the entire situation may be 
reduced to this : The blind were leading the 
sightless. They stood alike upon the brink 
of destruction, when the word and works of 
the Guide from heaven called back their ill- 
starred footsteps. Surely He who was able 
to proclaim Himself the Way, the Truth, and 
the Life, was worthy of universal confidence 
as the infallible Teacher of a world of 


The authority of the Logos as a divinely 
delegated teacher, rested not upon human 
discovery of that fact, nor upon human con- 
fession and testimony to the same. Though 
a thousand Nicodemuses had affirmed or 
denied His official rank as the heavenly lega- 
cied Teacher, it would not have weakened nor 
strengthened the fact in the least. Had the 
acknowledgment of Nicodemus — " We know 
that thou art a teacher come from God" 
(John 3:2) — met with universal endorsement, 
it would have been summarily dismissed by 
the Great Teacher as inadequate and im- 
material. Alike valueless were the witnesses 
of Nicodemus and John, of Thomas and 
Bartimaeus, of sceptical Pharisee or credulous 
devotee, as he received not the testimony 
of man. " I receive not testimony from man " 
(John 5 : 34). Independent of and infinitely 
above every human agency, there were incon- 
testable claims of the incarnate Logos. 

Regarded objectively, these may be found 
underlying and crowning all the acts and 

94 THE D/r/iVE LOGOS. 

achievements of the Word of God. To these 
He Himself attached an importance over- 
shadowing all others, and to these He could 
boldly appeal in proof of His divine mission 
and omnipotent character. " But I have 
greater witness than that of John : for the 
works which the Father hath given me to fin- 
ish, the same works that I do, bear witness 
of me, that the Father hath sent me. And 
the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath 
borne witness of me " (John 5 : 36, 37). 

By no means, however, is it understood 
that human testimony or discipleship was in 
any sense discarded by the Divine Teacher } 
for He Himself recognized its place and fore- 
told its appointment. " And ye also shall 
bear witness, because ve have been with me 
from the beginning" (John 15 : 27). The 
infallible test the world was to apply to the 
messengers of truth, — " By their fruits ye 
shall know them," — Incarnate Truth would 
have applied to Himself. 

Since, then, by their fruits the former were 


to be known, even so was the latter to be 
proclaimed to the world by the tongue of 
good works. It was through these that He 
would have His claim to infallibility discovered 
and His right to the confidence of men rec- 
ognized. Hence He could stoutly challenge 
the blind and obstinate Jews, and say, "If I 
do not the works of my Father, believe me 
not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, 
believe the works : that ye may know, and 
believe, that the Father is in me, and I in 
him" (John 10: 37, 38). 

The rejection of Christ as the heaven- 
sent Teacher of men, in the face of His stu- 
pendous and overwhelming work-evidences, 
is made the proof of human guilt and 
the occasion of human condemnation. It 
scarcely seems possible that the many mighty 
works He did only won for their Author, in 
the estimation of man, the opprobrious title 
of an impostor. Is the human heart so de- 
ceitful and vile as to suppose that the divine 
resources could be so easily commanded by 


one whose sinister errand was to deceive' 
humanity? Had Christ mocked the anguish 
of men, had he scorned the appeal of the 
weeping sisters, had he taken food from the 
needy or sight from the seeing, had he done 
evil instead of good, or embassied the cause 
of darkness instead of the kingdom of light, 
those who spurned His teachings or sought 
His life might have been credited with some 
consistency at least. But since never man 
spake like Him ; since never was guile found 
in His mouth ; since grace was ever found in 
His lips ; since the dews of kindness were 
distilled from His every utterance ; since the 
honey of love flowed from His every act; 
since He was the anointed of heaven, in 
whom the Father was well pleased, surely sin 
reached its most daring climax, and infernal 
wickedness its most blazen depths, when they 
impugned His holy motives and piled infamy 
on His sovereign claims. No wonder that, as 
He was about to place His cause in His 
Father's hands, and lay down His life for 


the world, wiping the -blood of His enemies 
from His holy garb, He could kindly say, 
" If I had not done among them the works 
which none other man did, they had not had 
sin" (John 15 : 24). 

Kai 6ed6£ja,<jfj,ai iv aiiroii o£?. — John 17 : 10. 

Of unpardonable shortcoming must the 
account of the Divine Word be* judged, 
which from a religious standpoint does not 
unreservedly surrender to His claim as the 
Lord of glory. Concession to this truth 
is the pillar and capstone of all trustworthy 
revelation, the Aleph and Tau of all adequate 

salvation. As a golden thread, this sublime 
admission should penetrate every sacred ac- 
count of the Son of God ; as a crowning 
point it should adorn our views regarding 
Him. The initiatory accordance of John, 
that men attested this glory and the self- 
testimony of the sacred Hero also, but too 
truly substantiates the narrative. He refers 
to some dateless era of eternity when He en- 



joyed this glory in union with the Father. 
(John 17 : 5.) The most exalted sphere of 
celestial felicity and happiness was enjoyed 
by Him ere He commenced His career in the 

But we here find ourselves upon the 
threshold of one of the most stupendous 
problems in the divine volume, and there we 
must content ourselves. And yet, because 
the Lord did become as a servant, and the ac- 
knowledged sovereign as a menial subject, 
we should mingle our wonder with praise, 
since He disrobed Himself of ineffable glory, 
despising the shame and humiliation, and 
freely kissing the rod of the divine vengeance 
in order to secure our deliverance from 
death. By acceptance of and loyalty to His 
mandates, we should replace the diadem of 
infinite splendor upon Him, and again crown 
Him Lord of all. 

During the darkness of His earthly pil- 
grimage, while, as it were, treading the wine- 
press alone, it is refreshing to contemplate 


the beams of glory that often brightened the 
pathway and gilded the sorrows of our Lord. 
The evidence of His being the only begotten 
and divinely-endorsed Son of Heaven, no doubt 
sent shafts of light through the midnight of 
His solitariness, and aided His passage across 
the steep and rugged ways of His earthly 
toils. Of the thick clouds that gathered about 
the "Man of Sorrows," most melancholy 
nature is not faintly suggestive, nor can 
human sympathy, by sheer force of feeling, 
estimate — clouds occasioned from a keen 
sense of man's spiritual need and his ignor- 
ance thereof; clouds from the hostile ele- 
ments of a sinful world in which He was a 
stranger ; clouds arising from the gulf of 
misery below, into which He must plunge in 
order to rescue man ; clouds of divine ven- 
geance from above, which must eclipse His 
life ere He effect the sinners' atonement. 
Amid such excruciating realities, might we 
expect other than the divine confession, 
"Now is my soul troubled" (John 12: 27)? 


Nevertheless, this dire humiliation of Christ 
cannot be contemplated aside from the glory 
it involved. As in the deep shadows of 
evening clusters of brilliant tints combine, 
so in the darkening shades of the divine 
earthly life, celestial halos always dispelled 
the gloom. From vale to highland, in humili- 
ation and then in glory, we characterize our 
Lord's tabernacling among men. Depres- 
sions and elevations are the threads and 
texture which interwove the incarnate life ; 
its darkest gloom bore its related sunshine, 
its deepest struggles issued in signal tri- 
umphs. His was not the case of the chieftain 
who awaits victorious returns from the field 
of engagement to be covered with honor, but 
that of the hero of successive struggles, who 
wears his glory alike contending with the foe 
as while enjoying the shouts of admirers. 
This glory, although veiled, was as real in 
Gethsemane as at the Jordan at His baptism; 
on Calvary when crucified, as on the mount 
when transfigured. The wise men discerned 


it in the star that heralded His advent. 
Angelic notes attuned it to a sleeping world 
and to waiting shepherds. Costly treasures 
at His cradle and enriching fragrance at His 
tomb, most eloquently attested the genuine- 
ness of the glory due the Prince of Peace and 
Saviour of men. In being able to complete 
His life's work, in the openly given divine 
acknowledgments to His sonship, in His 
resurrection from the dead and reception 
into heaven, we have the highest earthly 
expressions of the Lord of glory. 

But what was all this compared with the 
glory that was revealed thereafter, or by 
the side of the supernatural honors He en- 
joyed with the Father ere the morning stars 
sang together or the sons of God shouted for 
joy? Then angels worshipped: now saints 
unite in adorations. Then the incense of 
heavenly harps was scattered : now victori- 
ous palms are flourished. Then the chorus 
was " Old Hundred " : now they sing a "new 
song." Then the heavens declared the 


glory of God : now heaven and nature echo 
the "song of Moses and the Lamb." Its 
apocalyptic refrain, floating from heaven to 
earth, caught the spiritualized ear of Him 
who, though really elevated to the highest 
peak of divine love on earth, apparently is 
deserted upon the precipice of human extrem- 
ity. But since the extremity of mortals is 
often the divine opportunity, the darkness 
of His human trial is only a medium through 
which the beloved John experiences more of 
the grandeur of infinite love. The sublimest 
splendors of heaven are presented to his 
glorified vision, but their central figure is the 
victorious Word. Coronated throngs, bril- 
liant multitudes, dazzling thrones, stupendous 
celestial grandeurs attract his beatific eye in 
panoramic succession, but his spiritual gaze is 
ever steadied upon the "Altogether Lovely." 
Whatever else of glorious rapture stirred his 
soul, naught else excited his ecstasy so much 
as the universal homage yielded Him who sat 
upon the throne. Blessing and glory and 


wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and 
power and might are the salient features 
of the spontaneous worship ascribed by the 
unisoned tongues of heaven. 

"The purely spiritual glory of God in 
heaven is, no doubt, that which excelleth ; it 
more immediately radiates from Him as a 
spirit, and belongs to His nature and image. 
Its perfect manifestation is the unveiled 
vision of His face, and must afford the 
highest bliss to the spiritual nature of crea- 
tures in the highest state of advancement. 
It satisfies its longings, it bows reverently 
before the vastness which is set before it ; 
it asks no more. It would be the height of 
rashness, if not sacrilegious, to attempt to 
describe the glory. It has not and cannot 
enter into the heart of man to conceive of it. 
And there are words which are unspeakable, 
and things which are unhearable and unbear- 
able, even as there are things which are 
inconceivable by men. Ah ! how can we, 
who are of the earth, comprehend the pure, 


spiritual glory of the Godhead ? God has 
proclaimed His name in His Word, and in 
His works demonstrated the glorious attri- 
butes of His character ; but still, how little 
we know of Him ! How feeble and imperfect 
are our conceptions, not only of His character 
as a whole, but of any one of its individual 
attributes ! How vain, then, to attempt to 
describe, or even to comprehend, that spirit- 
ual glory, which will forever attract and fill 
the most enlarged contemplative power of an 
immortal spirit ! All that we can say is, that 
the perfections of the divine character will be 
unveiled to the contemplation of the re- 
deemed. They shall see Him as He is ; 
they shall know even as also they are 
known." "Conceive one glory resulting from 
substantial wisdom, goodness, power, truth, 
justice, holiness; that is, beaming forth from 
Him who is all these by His very essence, 
necessarily, originally, infinitely, eternally, 
with whatsoever else is truly a perfection. 
This is the glory blessed souls shall behold 


forever." "They shall see the beauty of His 
person ; the splendor and brightness of His 
understanding ; the largeness of His love ; 
His uncorrupted justice; His unexhausted 
goodness; His immovable truth ; His uncon 
trollable power; His vast dominions, which 
yet He fills with His presence, and adminis- 
ters their affairs with ease, and is magnified 
and praised in them by the throng of all His 

But may not the Divine Being, by some 
sensible glory not belonging to His essence, 
and which it would be too much for man, 
while in the flesh, to behold, manifest Him- 
self to the redeemed in heaven ? To see 
what angels and the glorified in heaven look 
upon with steady gaze and joyful exultation, 
would rend the veil of the flesh and cause 
our present tabernacles to break in pieces. 
Is it wholly inconceivable that the Most High 
should grant to them some adumbration of 
Himself? some symbol as the sign of His 
presence? John, however, maintains that 


there may be in heaven some such "um- 
brage," or " shadowy representations," as an 
object to the proper sensitive powers and 
organs of the resurrection body. Archbishop 
Tillotson, on the other hand, thinks that the 
expression, "seeing God," is to be taken 
strictly in a spiritual sense. " We are not to 
dream that we are to see God," he says, "with 
our bodily eyes ; for being a pure spirit, He can- 
not be the object of any corporeal sense; but 
we shall have such a sight of Him as a pure 
spirit is capable of, — we shall see Him with 
the eyes of our minds and understandings. 
And in this sense we do, in some degree, 
see God in this life by faith and knowledge, 
but it is but darkly. When we come to 
heaven, our understandings shall be raised 
and cleared to such a degree of strength 
and perfection that we shall know God after 
a more perfect manner than we are capable 
of in this state of mortality. And this per- 
fect knowledge of Him, together with the 
happy effects of it ; those affections which it 


shall raise in us, and that blessed enjoyment 
of the chief good which we are not able to 
express, is that which is called the sight of 

But whatever may be true as to the figur- 
ative or literal sense of the beatific vision, as 
commonly understood, the subject seems to 
be relieved of all difficulty when we consider 
that the Shekinah, or visible symbol of the 
Divine presence, will be seen in the glorified 
humanity of our Lord Jesus Christ. God was 
"manifest in the flesh " by that material body 
of Christ, which men saw with their eyes and 
which their hands handled ; which they had no 
power to destroy without His permission ; 
through which His disciples saw the rays of 
His divinity stream forth, changing the fash- 
ion of His countenance until it shone above 
the brightness of the sun, and imparting to 
His garments a lustrous whiteness as "no 
fuller on earth could whiten them " ; which 
was suspended on the cross ; which the tomb 
could not confine ; and was seen and handled 
by them after His resurrection. 


This very body they saw go up into 
heaven ; and there glorified, it still manifests 
God — manifests Him as He couid not be 
manifested to mortal eyes. The Deity took 
our nature that He might suffer therein, and 
might converse with finite creatures on earth. 
He therefore took a body which did not seem 
to differ from their bodies. He still wears 
our nature in heaven, that creatures who are 
still finite, and who could not sustain the 
dread presence of God and live, may enjoy 
communion with Him there : but oh, how 
glorious ! The transfiguration glories may 
have been, in part, designed to give us some 
conception of His body of glory. His people, 
too, shall be around Him, with their vile 
bodies fashioned like unto His glorious body. 
And this humanity, shared alike by the 
Redeemer and the redeemed, this communion, 
this vision of God manifest in the mediatorial 
King, will be eternal. The tabernacle of God 
will be with men forever, in the sense that 
the glorified humanity of our Lord will be the 


tent or tabernacle in which the glory of His 
divinity will reside, and through which its 
splendor will shine forth, with a brightness 
which shall fill all heaven with unspeakable 

The saints in heaven will behold the once 
crucified but now exalted and reigning 
Saviour, every one exclaiming, " He loved me 
and gave Himself for me ! 'Thou wast slain, 
and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood 
out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, 
and nation !' " Christ will not lay aside His 
glorified humanity where He lays aside His 
mediatorial kingdom. He will never cease to 
reign : He will only cease to mediate for the 
redeemed, made perfect and confirmed in ho- 
liness forever, beyond the peradventure of a 
fall. But His kingdom is an everlasting king- 
dom, and to His dominion there shall be no 
end. As the Father did not cease to reign 
when He delivered the mediatorial kingdom 
to the Son, so the Son will not cease to reign 
when He delivers back the mediatorial king- 


dom to the Father. He will stand at the 
head of His redeemed Church, and in His 
glorified body be the great object of homage 
to the members of that Church. He will 
smile on them, He will welcome them, He 
will love them ; and every perfection and 
every excellence that can be named in all the 
beauty of holiness, will shine forth from 
Him and attract every eye. They will know 
that they are looking upon Him, who atoned 
for their sins from His death on Calvary, 
who interceded for them in the presence of 
the Father, who gave them His spirit to 
renew and sanctify their hearts, who succored 
them in temptation, who supported them in 
death, and crowned them with eternal glory ; 
and as they behold His complacent and 
gracious smiles, their souls will be fille'd with 
rapturous delight. 



6 (dvuv kv e/xol Kicyd h avrC> — John 15: 5. 

The perpetual manifestation of Christ in 
the flesh is symbolized in the simile of vine 
and branches, and most strikingly exempli- 
fied by the living members of His Church. 
Paul could no more strongly point to the 
apostolic ministry as his epistles, known and 
read of men, than can faithful believers in 
all Christendom be pointed as reproductions 
of Christ in humanity. As Christ is not 
o'nly the Word, but the Ever-living Word, so 
man, too, possessing the divine life, cannot 
live by the Word alone, but must abide in the 
Word. He does not simply sustain a rela- 
tion of a remote kind to the High Priest 
above, but an intimate union of a vital char- 



acter to the life-sustaining Word that is 
near. Let the spiritual mind discover the 
vitality actuating between a vine and its 
branches, between the body and its members, 
and quite readily will it discover the place 
the believer occupies as a branch in the vine 
of Christ, as a member in His mystic body. 

It will then be seen that the relation is 
not figurative, but literal ; not metaphorical, 
but real ; not temporal, but eternal. If the 
literal Word conveys to us the Spirit, the 
spiritual Logos communicates to us the 
divine life. The injunction to abide in 
Christ indicates the necessity of divine 
communion in order to Christian life and 
its fruitfulness ; apart from the vine, the 
branch cannot exist, much less evince its 
fruit-bearing nature. So man cannot do 
without God, nor the child of God without 
his Saviour. " The sap flows from the vine 
to branch and tendril and leaf and fruit. 
The branch of itself is a lifeless organ, and 
only fulfils its function when it is connected 


with the vine. Thus, in the spiritual life, 
men apart from Christ have no original source 
of life and fruitfulness. The true life flows 
from Christ to every branch that abides in 
Him, quickening, by its power, the whole man, 
and making him fruitful in good." Verily 
did the apostle attest and amplify this truth 
to the subjects of his epistle when he affirmed, 
" If these things be in you, and abound 
ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful." 

The fructifying character of true disciple- 
ship is not only indicated in the Johannic 
writings, but most strikingly illustrated in 
the life of those figuring faithfully in the 
drama of Christian endeavors. Take the 
chief among the apostles, and that one than 
whom the least in the kingdom of heaven 
was greater. The giant faith and Herculean 
works of both are posited as much upon the 
sense of personal inadequacy. Paul con- 
fessed his unworthiness of an exalted place 
upon the roll of discipleship, yet, though weak, 
felt strong and able to do all things through 


Christ his source of strength. The Baptist, 
less and greater than a disciple, divine har- 
binger though he was, acknowledged publicly 
his decreasing importance, while he declared 
the increasing power and eclipsing magnifi- 
cence of his Master. 

• So, too, with the evangelist, whose transcen- 
dent gospel and revelation we have been 
considering. Throughout his general career, 
not only does he betray a loving dependence 
upon his loving Master, but, amid the stu- 
pendous rewards of grace and fidelity, shrinks 
into a self-abasement from which divine in- 
terposition alone could rescue him. Deserted 
by man and exiled from the truth, when God 
appears to rescue him, he falls as one smitten 
with judgment. Yet the strength of the 
vital bond linking the believer to Christ, and 
the activity of grace, with its ever precious 
results, are ever perceptible in the life of him 
whom Jesus loved. After he is revived from 
the swoon of grace, delivered from the adverse 
powers, and enabled to renew his testimony 


to the truth, the evangelist, wearing him- 
self out in the services of righteousness, 
still attested the triumph of divine truth 
by bringing forth fruit in his old age. Even 
when cruel time arrested his footsteps, 
and its iron hand enfeebled his speech and 
hampered his movements, near the door of 
God's temple he would often lean, and from 
his quivering lips, let fall the holy accents, 
"Little children, love one another." 

Finally, it being seen that what is true 
in reference to the unity of the Father and 
Son is also true as regards Christ and the 
believer, it is reasonable to infer some in- 
disputable evidence of an existing bond 
between the latter. This evidence is obe- 
dience; which, though subjective and spirit- 
ual, presents its practical and objective side 
in the believer's life. "If ye keep my com- 
mandments, ye shall abide in my love" 
(John 15: 10). In the absence of such 
evidence, the divine indwelling has no 
favorable test, since such test alone can be 


instanced in the obedience of the believer, 
which culminates into the higher state of 
adhesion. In his life of fidelity and obedi- 
ence he is not to be left alone, since he has 
in the instance of his Lord and Master 
abundant encouragement. Of this organic 
union the Holy Spirit is the perpetual life. 
(John 14 : 6.) "As thou hast sent me into the 
world, even so have I also sent them into the 
world" (John 17: 18). „ And he shall glorify 
Christ. (John 16 : 14).